BreakOut: Trapped in My Own Mind [Review]

logo-bigLocation: BreakOut, near Chinatown, Singapore

Date completed:  September 2016 (2 players). Succeeded escaping (with extra time).

Creativity: 8; Difficulty: 8 (for two people, less with more); Atmosphere: 4.5; Fun: 8.5.

Requirements:

  • Very basic English
  • 2-8 players (we recommend 4-5)

Imagine how tiring it would be if every night you had the same dreams, filled with puzzles that do not let your mind rest. To break this cycle of being Trapped in My Own Mind, we took a more proactive approach to the problem by deciding to solve all the puzzles so they wont spin my brain anymore!

This scenario for an escape room is the result of a partnership between Singaporean companies BreakOut and Nomis Piy. Although Trapped in My Own Mind does not have a strong plot, it is a great puzzle room. The game is filled with a myriad of challenges to solve that range from the cute and easy to the mind-boggling, so there is something for everyone!

I (Pá here) am a fan of colourful stuff and this room was my favourite of the four we played at BreakOut in Singapore. Not only was it because the setting was more bright, but also because the variety of puzzles was really broad and made us exercise the many different abilities of our ‘little grey cells’, as a famous Belgian detective would say.

breakout-posters7-trappedThe puzzles are not hard at all. The reason we scored this room high for difficulty was because of quantity: we counted at least 20 different things to solve, many of them layered. Playing with a larger team will make your game much easier. More than once, Trapspringer and I were happy at completing a task just to find that there were many more ahead!

Observation is the most required skill in this room, but it will be usually associated with other abilities, such as inductive logic or basic codebreaking. Add some math, lateral thinking and jigsaw-assembly and you will be fine! Nothing in this room feels like it could be in a magazine and a number of puzzles have satisfying surprises (‘a-ha!’ moments).

Except for the very end game, Trapped in My own Mind is completely non-linear and you can tackle the puzzles in any order. Be organised and keep each thing inside its box (quite literally) so you don´t get lost. If you do feel lost, look around and search for similar shapes and patterns and see if anything is associated. For some of the puzzles, the simplest solution is actually the right one.

Another aspect is that although most puzzles are small in size and require only one person to solve, good communication will be essential to succeed. If you solve something or believe you have figured out the logic on some task, speak out loud to the team! Keeping it to yourself and advancing alone may prevent further success. Keeping track of what has been solved and seeing what emerges as a result is very important here.

While this room could not be classified as immersive, it was very fun. Fans of the “puzzle room” genre and people who enjoy games such as Colours, from the Europan franchise X-Door, will like Trapped. According to BreakOut’s website, this room is a “limited edition” game and may close its bookings very soon. Go play it while you can!

Out of the room

Service: BreakOut offers discounts for students and sells cold drinks at reception. They are especially pleasant under Singapore’s hot weather! You can also ask for discounts if you play more than one game at BreakOut in the same day – a practice common in Singapore and one we wished happened elsewhere!

Communication: BreakOut uses the bell hint system, which we do not like much – you ring a bell on the wall and the gamemaster comes into the room to give you a hint. At least it was not a big issue in Trapped in My Own Mind, as the game is not about immersion, and the GM was quite quick to answer.

Surroundings: This venue is located in Singapore’s Chinatown, so plenty of options to eat around. We particularly liked Maxwell Food Centre, where you could find a huge variety of local street food. BreakOut is at walking distance of Outram Park train station.

Trapped in My Own Mind has also been reviewed by Escaping.sg and S-capegoats.

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