Review: Inception, Xcape Penang @ Bayan Lepas

Inception Xcape Penang

Inception! Can’t resist booking in for this game once I caught wind of it back in December last year. We made a trip up north so we could play as many escape rooms as we can in 3 days (we managed 6). Inception is my first choice when choosing for what to play from Xcape Penang. I am really looking forward to see how the themes in the movie can be translated into a game.

A step back, just to intro the Xcape brand a little: Xcape Penang is the first outpost of the Xcape brand from Singapore, which produces some really cool games (check this out, an upside down room!). So, this is the first ever (that we know of) overseas escape game brand that is being imported into Malaysia, by some friendly folks we met when we tried the games. After reading the reviews of the games from Singapore, I do have high hopes on what’s on offer.

We played 3 games from Xcape Penang on this trip, with Inception being the simplest (not exactly the easiest) game out of the 3. Simple, because it doesn’t rely on any mechanical or electrical contraptions, no strong narratives, no jump scares. We get two nearly bare rooms, and some moderately tough puzzles to solve, reminding me of the simpler puzzle-heavy games we played when we first tried an escape game from The Escape Artist in Singapore. Good old times of sitting down, solving puzzles.. really..

That said, the game did give a feeling that we had been.. inception-ed?! Well, at least I do get the feeling of being trapped in Limbo when the game started, and more so after we’re stuck for too long, thanks to the background music and the wallpaper. It is a teamwork game, so we’re split into two rooms. The teamwork elements require communicating some minor details very accurately and also smart use of a magnet, in which after solving granted us quite some satisfaction. Puzzles are mostly matching patterns, number-based. And this was the first time we’re confronted with a logic puzzle which has a somewhat academic flavour…

One novel element of Xcape’s games is that they require the players to hunt for tokens to redeem hints. There will be three tokens per game. You can wave the token at the CCTV and the staff will come to your rescue. This may be an interesting concept in escape games, akin to looking for tokens or checkpoints so you can save game in some video games. The tokens may take on a seasonal flavour as well, as we get to hunt for Christmas bells as the token since we’re playing during the Christmas holidays. However, as Inception is really a bare room (or two), so there’s really not much hunting to do since there is no where to hide the tokens.

Overall, this is a fairly satisfying game for getting us to sit down and solve puzzles in Limbo, without pumping our adrenaline too much (think boardgames). You’ll be disappointed if you’re looking for action and gizmos; look to the other games like Catch Me If You Can or Vampire Diary for a dose of excitement.

Still, I can’t wait for Xcape Penang to bring in Upside Down.

Featured image taken from Xcape Penang, check them out!


Our lady boss who does nothing much really, but pondering at puzzles and ordering people around. Apparently her stars say she can't work, or she'll die. Instead of buying cincin, she jimat all her money to play escape games now. Hates maths, keeps time, loves games with engaging plot and narratives. Special Skills: Admiring the artwork, furnishing, puzzle setup and decor in game