7 Overall
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  • Played January 2017
  • Seminyak, Bali

  • 50 minutes
  • 2-4 players
  • IDR 200,000 (USD $15)

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Located in Seminyak, Totem Room Escape Challenge is situated in the heart of a dynamic tourist area full of shops, restaurants and hotels. From Ngurah Rai International Airport, Totem is approximately 30 minutes by taxi and should not cost more than $10-$15 one way. This is important to note since all cab fares are negotiable in Bali as the driver will tend to provide quotes on the higher end.  To reach Totem, head towards the shopping arcade at Seminyak Square and find the Starbucks Coffee Shop. You will see the large Totem Room Escape Challenge sign across the street.

At the entrance, we were required to remove our footwear which is customary at most establishments in Indonesia. Unless you are comfortable playing in bare feet, make sure you dress accordingly (i.e. pair of socks). As we entered the lobby, we were greeted by the friendly staff at Totem.  The wait area was quite small in comparison to North American standards, but as we would later discover, this was consistent with all the escape rooms we experienced in Southeast Asia due to the scarcity of space. In fact, due to limited real estate, rooms would often involve climbing or crawling to reach the next area.

Kidnapped was the second of two rooms that we played at Totem Room Escape Challenge and similar to the Mission Impossible room we completed, we were taken to a pre-room area where an introductory video of the rules was shown. For the Kidnapped room the game master provided us a description of one of the main puzzles before the room started, which we did not receive with Mission Impossible. Unfortunately, the explanation did not help us when we came across the clues during the game.

The Kidnapped room was quite spacious for our team of five and the high ceilings gave off the impression that the room was even much larger. Furniture and props in the room were well built which was important as use of the objects in this room were required in the game. As you transitioned from one area to the next, a slight up and down climb on a step ladder was required and this may be difficult for those players with mobility concerns. The last area was extremely hot and although there was a portable fan in the room, it was difficult to play in the heat. Finally, similar to the Mission Impossible Room we played, the beeping of the clock at every second was a distraction and took away from the overall experience.

Totem beautifully managed to create an atmosphere to match with the Kidnapped theme. The environment was dark and eerie and it was completely believable that we could be inside a kidnappers’ hideaway. While ambience remains a clear strength at Totem, story development continues to be absent and abruptly stops after reading the room’s synopsis. Fortunately, an overarching kidnapping narrative is simple to conceptualize which makes it easy for you to become emotionally invested, while some players may not be bothered by or even realize the lack of story advancement. Nevertheless, a well-developed story in a darkly themed room such as Kidnapped can only add to the overall immersion experience.

Kidnapped used a linear approach for the challenge and featured different puzzle types combined with a variety of lock boxes which was enjoyable for us as traditional escape room players. The game required extensive clue searching and some objects were so well hidden that the room became overwhelming at times. Furthermore, adding to the complexity was the presence of red herrings throughout the room which led to confusion and frustration amongst our team. Totem designated Kidnapped as its most difficult challenge so in some ways this is justified, but in the absence of red herrings, we believe the difficulty level would be slightly lower.

Overall we had an entertaining time at Kidnapped and we echo the same message we had in the review for Mission Impossible. For IDR 200,000 or $15, Kidnapped offers tremendous value for an escape room experience. We would highly recommend that you check out Totem Room Escape Challenge if you are in Bali.

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