SINGAPORE - If you love playing escape room games - solving one mystery after another - you are in for a treat.
Singapore's latest escape room will launch on Saturday (Jan 26). And it is mobile, fashioned from a 7m-long truck.
This museum-themed escape room was developed by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and Kult, a collective of multi-disciplinary artists.
The ministry touted it as the latest effort to strengthen cohesiveness among people here, regardless of nationality, race or religion.
It does so by letting an individual collaborate in a group with up to five other people, including strangers, to solve a mystery.
The game's premise is that a $3 million painting by Singaporean artist Chris Chai was stolen from a museum a day before it was to be revealed, in what was billed as the country's biggest art heist.
The culprit? Possibly a curator, artist or security guard.
The police believe the masterpiece - titled Struggle - is still hidden in the museum, but need the help of participants to crack the case.
Guests are given a handful of clues, and have to put their skills to the test. They have 30 minutes to find the artwork.
Mr Chen Hsin Yeow, 43, MCCY's deputy director of corporate communications, says: "Collab and Conquer is one of many things MCCY does to engage Singaporeans to build a caring, cohesive and confident nation."
In the activity, he adds, participants have to solve challenges along the way and know one another better.
"Singapore is a very diverse nation. Each of us is different and have different skills. We hope that through this activity, participants can understand that there is strength in diversity, and if we can work together, we can tackle future challenges."
Mr Raja V., 53, director of Kult, added: "As you experience the game, you will find that different people have different skill sets, which is great.
"The end result is that when people leave, they realise that there is this need to work together."
Mr Nicholas Teo, 30, who works in a creative agency, experienced the escape game on Tuesday (Jan 22). He said: "I think it was quite exciting and challenging. In terms of difficulty, I would give it a seven out of 10. It helped because my teammates - some of whom were strangers - were quite intelligent."
His colleague, Ms Liyana Hidhir, 25, added: "Even though I did the escape room largely with strangers, the experience was not awkward to me. I generally have an open mind about meeting people. In an indirect way, it honed in on the message that even though we are among people we don't know - we might have to work together for a common goal at times."
The escape room will be launched on Saturday at Plaza Singapura.
It will then move to Raffles City on Feb 2, Hillion Mall on Feb 4 and Our Tampines Hub on Feb 11.
To participate, the public can sign-up at http://bit.ly/collabandconquer. According to the organisers, response has been very positive, with some sessions already fully booked. The escape room also accepts walk-ins.
In addition, at selected venues, there will be fringe activities.
For example, there is a motion-triggered animation game, which guests can play to reveal the image of one suspect.
They can also play board games such as Escape: Curse of the Temple, Unlock Adventures and Pandemic.
Participants for both the escape room and fringe activities stand to win attractive merchandise.
Collab & Conquer
When: Jan 26 to Feb 17, 2pm to 8pm (Mondays to Thursdays), 2pm to 10pm (Fridays), 12pm to 10pm (Saturdays), 12pm to 8pm (Sundays)
Where: Plaza Singapura (Jan 26 to Feb 1), Raffles City (Feb 2 to 3), Hillion Mall (Feb 4 to 10), Our Tampines Hub (Feb 11 to 17)