🗺️ Based In Singapore
⏲️ 60 Minutes ▪ 💪 N/A ▪ 🔢 N/A
📚 You have been ordered to evacuate with fellow trooper Arnold Watson. As you are preparing to evacuate, you discover an old package buried near a cannon. Written on it are clues to a pirates’ treasure chest discovered by one Private Joey when he first arrived in 1885 on Sarang Rimau. Can you find the treasure in time, before the boat leaves you behind? (Designed for different teams to play at the same time from anywhere in the world using remote access. The participants will only need a computer or laptop for video conferencing with a stable broadband internet connection to play the game. Players will also have access to a public virtual whiteboard and their individual team whiteboards, in which they can then view and work on their teamwork during the game. If you are keen, we can arrange a short demo so that you can get to know more about the game!)
Lost Treasure Of Sarang Rimau | Lockdown Escape Singapore
THE (QUICK) GUIDE
THIS, IN A NUTSHELL, IS...
▪ Classified As: Play At Home » Live Host-Led Experience
▪ A teambuilding game designed for play online that takes place virtually over the ground of Fort Siloso, a Singapore tourist spot and the country's "only preserved coastal fort". The main narrative boils down to a generic treasure hunt, with players solving clues from a treasure map that ultimately leads to buried valuables. The experience itself is divided over two interfaces: an interactive tour map, and puzzles presented separately on a web-based whiteboard. The combined result at times feels disjointed and frustrating, though it lives up to its promise of giving plenty of challenges that test both brainwork and teamwork. (Note: This experience is not open to public booking. If interested in using "Lost Treasure Of Sarang Rimau" as a teambuilding exercise for your party, contact the company directly for details.)
YOU'LL ENJOY THIS, IF...
▪ If you want to try a title that takes inspirations from a real-life, historical landmark from Singapore.
▪ If you don't mind an experience that is very light on story, but instead focuses almost exclusively on the puzzle contents.
▪ If you enjoy games with prominent scavenger-hunting, and "pen and paper" puzzles that involve heavy drawing or marking.
▪ If your primary goal is to build rapport and teamwork among your group, and other aspects are less critical for your decision.
SOUNDS GREAT, NOW WHAT?
📖 CONTINUE READING THE REVIEW BELOW!
🛒 WHEN YOU'RE READY... TO INQUIRE, CLICK HERE!
💻 For remote experience, watch out for potential time & date difference due to varying time zones.
💻 For communication among host and players, Zoom is required.
💻 For game interfaces, the company recommends playing on "on a laptop/computer with a good internet connection, and it is best to [use] Google Chrome [browser]". I, however, experienced lagging with Chrome, and would endorse Firefox instead.
🧐 Based on everything discussed below in the review, with my team of 4, the difficulty subjectively feels like a 6 to 7/10, (which may differ from the company's official rating). As such, I recommend a team of 5 to 6: There are 5 main puzzles to solve, and 5 teammates can independently work on each, while the sixth member can provide an extra pair of eyes to help hunt for clues and information sprinkled all over the spacious property of Fort Siloso--there is literally a lot of ground to cover in relatively little time.
THE (FULL) REVIEW
Travel all over Fort Siloso via a virtual tour | Lockdown Escape Singapore
▪ The host starts off the game session with not the rules, not the premise, but rather, a 15-minute tutorial on how to use Limnu whiteboard, which is essentially an online conference webtool similar to Paint, where all members can draw, write, or post notes on a virtual drawing board that updates in real time. While it isn't difficult to learn the basics on the fly, it would've been much more effective to just provide a self-paced, self-guided lesson in an email prior to game day instead. This way, participants can fiddle with whiteboard without pressure, come to the game prepared, and begin the game with anticipation and excitement.
▪ "Lost Treasure Of Sarang Rimau" relies on a virtual tour of Fort Siloso as the backdrop on which all the puzzles are based off of. This virtual map works similarly to Google Map, in theory, where you can press on arrows to move forward, backward, and in between different areas of the park. However, the developer did not calibrate on how much one would travel when clicking on the transitional arrows, and the player would jump at arbitrary distances. In addition, the direction and perspective would alter in between scenes, which is extremely confusing for first-time online visitor. The map contains a few hot spots where traveler can "hop to" instantly; those are very useful, and more would've increased accessibility and convenience.
▪ Shortcomings and design flaws aside, the Fort Siloso virtual touring gives a comprehensive look of the Singaporean park, and considering the current pandemic circumstances and myriad travel restrictions, it is refreshing to travel to a foreign land and enjoy the pleasing outdoor sceneries, albeit only remotely and virtually. The image quality is reasonably good, colors are vibrant, and as I leisurely stroll through the map post-game without time constraint, just for kicks, I get a decent sense of how the real-life counterpart is like, and I appreciate the beauty of nature and the history the various monuments embody.
▪ Generally speaking, my team's struggled to navigate our virtual selves through the interactive map, especially when we know our intended destination, but can't quite seem to digitally ambulate there. Our hour-long play is often overshadowed by an almost-constant battle to get around, which in turn eats up much of our time budget. A puzzle that I could've solved under 5 to 10 minutes has taken me twice as long. And honestly, as frustrating as that sounds, it's also made for some laugh-out-loud moments--it's humorous to see just how miserably we're failing at some point. Hey, at least I was entertained!
▪ I think it's fair to say there isn't much theming applied in "Lost Treasure". It is, after all, a rather generic treasure hunt, complete with map and buried chest, with a light historical flavor seasoned on top. Perhaps there is a complex history with this particular geographic location that makes the hidden treasure premise more logical and intuitive, but if that is indeed the case, the intended effects are lost in translation on a team of 4 foreign, overseas patrons without extensive understanding of Singapore's past.
▪ It's worth noting that there is some effort in immersing the guests in the treasure hunting experience, as evidenced by the host's safari costume, and the graphics and artworks seen throughout that are also deliberately and appropriately themed.
▪ One feature that has come across extremely effective is that we've all truly felt like explorers in an unfamiliar territory, scurrying up and down the slopes of Fort Siloso, nervously on the hunt for the next clues in jitters while the clock mercilessly ticks down on the hour. I, on the one hand, wish I was actually on location to fully experience the locale and to seek out information hands-on, since the tour map is confusing. On the other hand, the rest of the team is beyond grateful that this is a remote digital game, sparing them the intense physical labor this hunt would otherwise demand. Both perspectives are equally valid, would you say?
Solve puzzles with your team via Limnu whiteboard | Lockdown Escape Singapore
▪ The puzzles are undoubtedly the focus of the game, elegantly presented for easy understanding, and with a non-linear structure for facile division and delegation of responsibilities among teammates. In the initial main portion, there are 5 main puzzles, each extracting and containing information, clues, and features from the landmark. After collecting the necessary information from the map and solving the puzzles, all 5 solutions would converge to a meta puzzle with multiple steps that ultimately reveals the hidden treasure. The overall road map is a solid format that is exceptional for building teamwork.
▪ The individual puzzles are all of the "pen and paper" variety, which explains the necessity of the white board interface. Expect to draw lines, draw shapes, color in, mark spots, and make notes. It's a very hands-on process, albeit done on a computer, and would require time and patience to complete. Puzzles also test your skills of arithmetic, shape interpretation, image matching, and observation. The finale meta puzzle has a very "escape room" vibe utilizing cipher, and it's an apt closer for a treasure hunt.
▪ On the whole, the difficulty derives from the specifics needed to be found on the Fort Siloso map, and depending how much (or how little) direction and guidance the host gives you, it could range from easy as a piece of cake to hellishly challenging. If given more time to freely explore, the puzzles themselves are mild and can be suitable for participants of all experience level. Under the 60-minute limit, however, it's a true race against time!
▪ One particular clue calls for unsuspected botany knowledge, and it's flown right over all our heads.
▪ It does surprise me that none of the puzzles given is truly educational. With an authentic historical topic like the legend of Sarang Rimau, I fully expected to learn a piece of Singaporean history or two when walking away from the game, and it was not the case. At best, I would describe this game as being themed after a treasure hunt that happens to be at Fort Siloso, but the same challenges and ideas could've been applied to or modified for any location, real or fictional.
▪ While I've already pointed out weaknesses found in the tour map, the game's other interface, the whiteboard, also contributes a potential barrier to a smooth experience. I, being fairly technologically savvy, find the drawing board app reasonably useful for business or school presentations, but not the most ideal for online gaming. The controls feel a tad clunky and more complicated than it needs to be (for remote gaming) to the untrained eyes and hands; and it would deter those who tend to have trouble learning or using this kind of conference gadgets from having a good time, even if they are good at solving puzzles otherwise.
▪ Pricing is by inquiry only, so depending on your quote, the customer can determine the value perceived. The customer service I've received is excellent: the staff is courteous, patient, and organized. Hence, I am confident that Lockdown Escape can work closely with its future patrons to provide a package that suits their needs.
▪ "Lost Treasure Of Sarang Rimau" has potential to improve, though it may require some overhaul on the virtual tour map that it currently relies on, which may not be realistically attainable in the foreseeable future. Assuming all variables being managed optimally, this is still a respectable and sensibly fun option to choose as a teambuilding activity for businesses and schools. As an at-home entertainment for general market, however, it may struggle to land a top contender spot.
Full disclosure: complimentary game access was generously provided for review or testing purposes. All media are sourced from and credited to rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended. In certain cases, media materials are made available under fair use doctrine of copyright law. LESGSarang.