Behind the Scenes: Stephen Tan, organiser of the Real Escape Game

Escape games are the new craze in town! Last we counted, there were four franchisees of the Real Escape Game in Singapore. Now, on Google’s first page alone, there are six!

Vol. 1

Lock down. One hour. Many Puzzles. Escape! Originating from Japan, what’s behind the hype and its increasing popularity here in Singapore? We go behind the scenes with Stephen Tan, organiser of Real Escape Game – one of the earliest franchisees in Singapore, to find out more.


Up Close and Personal

Speaking of “Escape” games, what have you escaped from before?

House chores, awkward conversations? (*laughs)

Sneak Pea-k! into the Real Escape Game

What inspired you to bring the “Escape Game” to Singapore? What about the game do you think would appeal to Singaporeans?

Singaporeans often like a good challenge and are always in for something new and fun. It seems like a lot of people in Singapore are interested in the online version of room escape games, so it would be great for these avid problem-solvers to be able to experience it live instead of a virtual platform.

The most appealing part of the game that would appeal to Singaporeans would be the fact that only a very small percentage of participants are able to successfully solve all the puzzles within the one hour time frame. This creates a sense of challenge that people would naturally want to conquer.

How does the game work? What’s an example of the kind of puzzles participants will need to solve during the game?

Real Escape Game consists of different thematic puzzles that progress in stages. The types of puzzles include logic, mathematical, lateral thinking and metapuzzles. The game will start with the participants being introduced to the scenario with instructions on the mechanics of reaching the end goal – solving the ultimate puzzle. The players will then have to work together as a team to solve different stages of puzzles.

An example of the kind of puzzle that participants will encounter would be “make the sun and the moon kiss”.


Has competition gotten intense amongst the groups before?

It is always intense in the venue within that one hour of gameplay. Different groups are trying to outrun and outdo the other teams. However, all our participants are extremely co-operative and friendly and everyone steps out of the room harmoniously. I feel that the challenge is more of a personal one – it is working well together amongst team members that ultimately increase the chances of escaping successfully.

Tell us more about the upcoming concept “Escape from the Bank”.

‘Escape from the bank’ revolves around the participants being thieves who aim to steal a confidential document from the bank. During the game, players would have to solve the puzzles in order to find the best solution to escape from the bank while being pursued by the police.

How do you come up with so many different concepts to create a scenario for an “Escape” game?

We are partners with SCRAP Magazine, which is based in Japan. They are the original creators of the whole escape game wave internationally. We discuss themes and try to figure out what people in Singapore would like to play. If necessary, we will adjust the content to suit local context to ensure that our participants find the concepts relatable, fun, and exciting.

In Singapore, the Escape game concept has gained quite a loyal following with a few major players in the market. How do you differentiate yours from others out there?

We have the capability to conduct escape games for group sizes ranging from small to large. Our games are well-suited for participants of all age groups and skill levels and our puzzles cater to all regardless of physical ability, skills, and abilities.

We had fans coming to play in their crutches, and even pregnant mothers. I think this really shows that our games are suitable for everyone who enjoys the thrill of challenging themselves. We pride ourselves in being able to produce quality, interesting and engaging content.

Planning “Escape” games on a recurring basis must be pretty challenging. Are there any pointers you’d like to offer to organisers also planning recurring events?

Be very organised, and focused. At the end of the day, remember to have fun so that your participants enjoy it too!

Escape from the Bank

When 13th – 15th December (For game timings, click here) Where Le Danz, 222 Queen St Entry Average ticket costs $27 on Peatix / $35 at-the-door

Open to anyone who enjoys an intellectual challenge ☺

So next time you’re thinking of a team bonding activity amongst friends, family or colleagues, consider signing up for a Real Escape Game!

Image Credit: Real Escape Game

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Claire Ding

Claire Ding is the Community Manager at ticketing platform Peatix in Singapore. She runs a community event for organisers, Backstage Pass , where organisers connect with others and learn tips on event management. Quite the thrill-seeker, Claire’s gone skydiving, bungee jumping, and enjoys anything that puts her on edge (quite literally), it’s no wonder she’s in the business of events with never a dull moment!