Unravel: The Wish [Review]

logo-1Location: Unravel, Bugis Junction, Singapore

Date completed:  September 2016 (2 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 6.5; Difficulty: 6.5; Atmosphere: 7; Fun: 7.

Requirements:

  • Fluent English
  • 2-10 players (we recommend 2-4)
  • Full mobility

Note: Unravel unfortunately closed it’s doors for the last time in November 2016.

In Unravel, players take on the role of a private detective Kai and his team to tackle mysteries and horrors inspired by Singapore’s history and folklore. Pá and I have always liked the idea of escape rooms based on local stories so this venue piqued our interest.

In The Wish, the grandson of a man named Lim requests Kai’s assistance to locate the family heirloom, which was taken from his grandfather by the invading Japanese forces during World War 2. Word has it that the Japanese stored valuables in a secret chamber of an automotive factory where Lim worked. Players have one hour to locate the heirloom and get it to the grandson in time for Lim’s 91st birthday.

We began the quest to find Lim’s long lost heirloom in an abandoned workshop of the old Nissan automobile factory. Although this might seem like a mundane start point, the game actually draws from the real Old Ford Motor Factory, which was the historic site of surrender of the British Commonwealth Forces to the Japanese in 1942, and later taken over by Nissan to build military vehicles for the occupying Japanese forces. Although insignificant to the game, the scenario of The Wish is even set in 1980, right when there were talks of whether to demolish the site or to retain it for historical value.

wish2The setting, along with the Case File given to us by the gamemaster with information about Lim and the factory, were relevant to a number of the puzzles in The Wish. This attention to setting was one of the stronger points of Unravel as we found the Case File useful on few occasions in paving a way forward for solving the puzzles.

The dark atmosphere was augmented by the background soundtrack which simulated a workshop, but there was a fair bit of interference from external radio traffic on the hints walkie talkie. Normally, this would be a mood killer in many other rooms. In the context of The Wish though, this infrequent random interference didn’t do too much damage as radio chatter could perhaps be expected in a workshop.

The Wish was not difficult and we tackled it with 2 players, finishing with a little time left over. For the amount of puzzles and the physical size of the room, we recommend a maximum team size of 4 as team members might find themselves without anything to do if you add more people. The puzzle and tasks in this escape room involved a fair bit of searching (sometimes with UV/blacklight), association, pattern identification, a little bit of basic code breaking and basic math.

The puzzles were for the most part enjoyable and logical, however, one of the last puzzles didn’t seem to fit with the overall story and seemed very out of place in the room. Also, make sure to bring someone with full mobility if you want to play this room as there is a real tight place not easily accessible.

In summary, The Wish was a pretty enjoyable experience and a bargain as well at less than $18 per person, it’s the cheapest decent room we have played thus far. Unravel also provided hefty discounts for any subsequent escape rooms played on the day – something we will no doubt take advantage of the next time we go back to Singapore!

Out of the room

Service: Unravel has large lockers for player’s belongings (which is great for backpackers) and offers discount if you play subsequent games on the same day. All payments are made in cash and paid before playing.

Communication: Hints were given over a walkie talkie. During our run through of The Wish,  we encountered a bit of radio interference from construction sites using the same channel. Our gamemaster got us to switch channels but the interference persisted. This wasn’t a major problem given the setting of The Wish, however, it might present a distraction to both the puzzles and atmosphere in other rooms.

Surroundings: Unravel is approximately 300m away from the Bugis MRT subway station. The entire area of Buges Junction is surrounded by shopping arcades, restaurants and escape room venues. Besides Unravel, the area also hosts Xcape, Lost SG, Lockdown and Escape Artist.

The Wish has also been reviewed by Escaping.sg and S-capegoats.

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