I’m working my way through a backlog of escape rooms from the past couple of years, including a number of overseas escape rooms. In August 2016, we were in Bali to celebrate my cousin’s milestone birthday. We took the opportunity to explore a few local escape rooms. The first one we tried was Totem Room Escape – we did all four of their rooms (since we played, they have opened two more rooms). This was our 16th escape room (and our 1st Bali one).
From their website:
Squeeze, sneak, shrink, and spin in your series of dreamy journey from one landscape to perfectly different others…Source: http://www.totemroomescape.com/bali/totem/room/
This escape room is loosely based on Alice in Wonderland. The Alice in Wonderland theme carried throughout the entire game with puzzles and props geared towards this theme. The game is dimly lit throughout, to create more atmosphere, which at times can make it a bit difficult to see things, but it’s not a scary room at all.
The game starts with the gamemaster leading you into a room where you get a video briefing (in English), which provides instructions on how to play and a bit about the room. Once the briefing is complete, the gamemaster opens a door in the ceiling and we start by climbing a ladder. We slide down into the first room where there were a number of search and association puzzles to complete.
From there, we moved at a steady pace throughout the rooms. My favourite was a tiny room filled with lots of mysterious liquids (think of Alice’s experiments with drink me etc).
You get two clues, which we ended up using. The first clue we asked for was possibly a language interpretation issue where we didn’t quite understand what we were meant to do with the clue we found in the room. Once the gamemaster entered and explained, it made sense but I don’t think we would have gotten it without asking for help.
We struggled with the last puzzle and needed the help of the gamemaster to help us get through. Once that was completed, we finished the game just on time.
There are a mix of linear puzzles, from searching, liquids, riddles and physical puzzles. All players will need some form of physical agility as there is the initial climb of the ladder, the slide and moving through smallish spaces.
Out of room experience
While Totem does take walk ins, I recommend booking ahead. You can book over the phone or email (which is what we did). Booking online meant that we got a confirmation email with our date, time and the room we’re playing.
Staff were friendly and greeted us when we arrived.
You are allowed two hints. The hint system could definitely be improved as it works by waving at the camera and getting the attention of the gamemaster. You then have to wait until they get into the room (which can take a while which means that you’re losing even more time). I’ve always found that anytime a gamemaster has to enter the room, it breaks the immersion experience. This could easily be overcomed by providing walkie talkies or screens where the hints could be provided in English (but may be difficult in this situation as there are multiple rooms as it’s not fast moving between the rooms).
Note that you will need to remove your shoes and leave by the entrance (as customary in many places in Indonesia). We played barefooted but if that’s a concern for you, bring socks.
Lockers are provided to safeguard your belongings. As customary with escape rooms, you will need to leave all your belongings behind.
Rooms are air conditioned. There is a toilet onsite.
Upon completion of the room (whether successfully or not), a mini polaroid photo is taken of your group. You can choose to stick it up on the wall with the other tourists or take it away with you (we’ve done both with different games, as I like this little memento of our trip). For those who complete the room successfully, you are awarded with a prize (Totem hats that were really useful and we’re still using to this day!).
I couldn’t see any emergency exits along the route but the website claims that safety is their priority and that there has been zero accidents.
There is a gamemaster onsite but I’m not sure if they’re dedicated to one game or spread across multiple games.
Totem Room Escape is based in Seminyak, in the heart of the tourist area. Head towards the shopping arcade at Seminyak Square. Head towards the Starbucks Coffee Shop and it’s across the road from Starbucks.
You will need to walk down a long corridor until you get to the entrance on the left. You’ll see it by the stack of shoes by the entrance.
- Overall: 3.5/5
- Fun: 4/5
- Atmosphere: 3.5/5
- Difficulty: 3.5/5 (with 2 adults) – this is meant to be one of the easiest rooms but I still struggled at times
- Creativity of puzzles: 3/5
- Game duration: 50 minutes
- Cost: IDR 200.000 (USD $15)/person
- Team size: 2 – 6 people but we recommend at least 3 people
- Escaped ? Yes
- Played: 12 August 2016
Check out other reviews of this room by Kartika D. Suardana (NOW! Bali)
In summary, this room is recommended if you’re in Bali. It’s a fun way to spend an hour and to see the types of room created by a local franchise.
About Totem Room Escape
Totem Room Escape is an Indonesian franchise, founded in Jakarta in early 2014. They have locations in Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang and Bali. They note that they are the first and biggest escape room game in Indonesia.
Where: Jalan Kayu Aya No.27 (Near Seminyak Square, Across Starbucks), Seminyak, Bali 80361
Website: Totem Room Escape (Bali)
Photo credit: Totem Room Escape