Are you a fan of room escape games? Yes, I’m talking about the app game. If you are like me, you probably have one downloaded into your smartphone or tablet since it made the top ten list on the app store last year. I liked Can You Escape on my iPad. That’s why when a colleague mentioned there’s a real life version of this, I was more than intrigued and eager to try it out.
Located in Jakarta Barat area, Jl. Tanjung Duren in a small ruko opposite 7-Eleven, Totem Room Escape Challenge was fairly easy to find. There are four levels of difficulties, each with a different theme and different time required to solve the mysteries. As a rule of thumb, the harder the room, the shorter time allowed to tackle it. Because we’re all first-timers, the seven of us went for the easiest room: Lost in Darkland (50 minutes). Pricing depends on the number of players. We paid Rp 65,000 per person, not bad. Then we stored belongings in a locker, including mobile phones, since they’re prohibited, which means no photos (damn!). But I guess it’s only logical, you don’t want people posting photos on social media and revealing the clues! After being scanned (think security guards at mall entries), we entered the first room. Having only one light source, it was a darkland indeed. A friendly staff briefly explained the rules, showed the count down timer on the wall and then left us with a shining torch. Let the fun begin!
Picture this: a dim room with a locked treasure chest, some kind of alphabet codes on one side of wall, and locked rustic window panes on another side. The task was pretty obvious: unlock them all. But how? That’s the fun (and frustrating) part. You need to scan every inch of the room, and be extremely aware of every detail inside to find clues. And then process information gathered to solve problems. In short, a lot of THINKING involved. We were so absorbed that we lost track of time. When I turned back to see the timer, there was not much time left. Stuck, we waved to the cctv camera to ask for a hint. Soon enough, the staff came to lead us back on the right track. We cracked the last lock and proceeded to the next room. *cheer!* (Note: still on the same level and theme)
The second room was bigger and fancier, with more objects and distractions. Flower petals scattered on the floor gave a romantic and whimsical feel. Trying to document this real life game play experience without spilling the beans has proven to be a challenge. Many objects were entwined with clues and better left unspoiled. Anyway we made it to the third (and last) room but sadly we ran out of time.
Overall it’s great. Loving the concept. Pretty successful in realising the concept too. Game play experience was good. I’m not too brainy and I enjoyed the element of surprise, such as revolving door, glow-in-the-dark painting, etc (ooops, spoiler alert). It’s clever how seamlessly they put together the clues in accordance to theme and storyline. What I liked less were tiny room and dim lighting. Although no problem for 7 of us to fit in, it felt crowded and inconvenient moving around. In my opinion 4 or 5 will be better. Dim lighting was a big hindrance when searching for clues, especially when only 1 torch was given. 1 for each person will be ideal. Can’t complain much about lighting, though. The theme was ‘darkland’ after all, and we were superbly ‘lost’.
Curious yet? For more info on location, opening hours, booking etc please refer to ‘Totem Room Escape’ Facebook page.
Note: This post is originally posted in 2014 in my old blog. I’m moving it here due to popular demand.
Disclaimer: This post is purely from personal experience. I did not get compensated and in no way affiliated with the business.