No longer in operation.
Freeing Room has one unique concept that is not found in other escape game operator thus far: all their rooms appear to have a connected back story spanning from the 18th to 24th century. The story revolves around an Illuminati-like secret organization running the world in the shadows. After reading this from their website, I was immediately hooked. If executed well, this would hopefully give a similar experience of playing a story-heavy rpg game.
Weiming and I, in hope of fighting Monday blues, chose the first room in the series: The Treasure Era. In this game, we are adventurers who were trapped by Capt’ Pyle in a ship cabin while searching for some lost treasure (which was probably used to found Ouroboros later). Another nifty thing about Freeing Room is that we have two goals to achieve for the game. If we manage to find the key and escape, we earn the Winner status. To gain the Perfect ending, we will have to find the treasure (or another specified item for other rooms). Another attempt to make the game more interesting, but needs to be refined.
Alas, the rpg thing didn’t really work out. Although there were notes scattered throughout the room, they didn’t really expand the story. The notes are all in both English and Chinese. The puzzles are straight forward and easy, but only marginally related to the story and some can be annoying (see gripe below). Mechanics wise, the usual suspects are there, but the quality of the props/set are poor, very cheap looking.
My biggest gripe:
We exhausted two hints given just to ask the same question: DO WE REALLY NEED TO DO MATHS?? Maths is the last thing we want to do on a Monday night. I was annoyed by the amount of numbers we need to deal with in this room. Especially when we have no calculators, or pen/paper to use. That said, one of the maths puzzles was not that difficult, it took 3 secs of mind power. We gave up on the last one and let our lock-picking skills save the day.
Overall, I would have liked the concept of Freeing Room but the execution was their downfall. The production quality was disappointing. Classier set and props would definitely improve enjoyment of the game despite irrelevant puzzles. Sometimes we just like to be wowed by exciting, big budget, movie-like setups. I wish for a greater integration of story line into the game. I feel sorry to have such a great idea wasted.
Certainly not worth the RM36.
Feature image taken from Freeing Room’s website.