In Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, our heroes have escaped the Maze, only to find that the world outside is much harsher than they expected. It’s kind of like exiting one of the confusing shopping malls in Singapore, only to find that the weather outside is scorching. You kind of want to run back into the cool air-conditioned comfort of the mall, but you know it’s a bad idea since you’re going to have to spend 20 minutes finding the correct exit later. Sort of like Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, but without all the life-threatening dangers.

Maybe it’s because land is so scarce in Singapore, architects have to find a creative way to maximise the usage of the limited space the malls are built upon. But when this ends up in a sprawling mass of aisles and crisscrossing escalators, all you need are some Grievers (the spider creatures that patrol the Maze) and you’ll have a bunch of Mazes in Singapore.

So here are some of the Maze-like shopping malls in Singapore. Would Thomas be able to escape any of them?

1) nex

nex. Credit: Kidlander

nex. Credit: Kidlander

Whenever I’m feeling lost in life, I only have to look up and realise I’ve wandered into nex. While it may be a boon to all North-easterners in Singapore, it’s also a terror for anyone who’s short on time. There’s only three visible levels when you first enter it, but there’s actually a whole other level with a food court and restaurants that you need specific knowledge of before you can look for it, like the Cliff in the Maze. Even Thomas took a while before he understood the mystery of the Cliffs. To top it all off, mobile reception is spotty within nex, so you’re pretty much on your own there.

The bonus is that wide open area in the centre is kind of like the Glade – safe and navigable, but you’re going to have to venture into the wilderness if you’re looking to get out of nex the Maze.

2) Suntec City

Suntec City. Credit: Suntec Singapore

Suntec City. Credit: Suntec Singapore

Suntec City’s claim to fame are its five towers, arranged around the Fountain of Wealth in the shape of a hand, the way the Maze surrounds the safe haven of the Glades. But there are precious few who remember what lies within each tower. There’s the cinema tower, the Convention Centre tower… and the other three towers kind of blend together into one in most people’s minds. You need to consult a directory to get to where you’re going, but actually navigating the topography of Suntec City is tough, or build your own map the way Minho did.

Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) look at the replica of a labyrinth which is the Maze in The Maze Runner. Credit: DC on Heels

Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) look at the replica of a labyrinth which is the Maze in The Maze Runner. Credit: DC on Heels

3) Vivocity

Vivocity. Credit: Sentosa Cove Living

Vivocity. Credit: Sentosa Cove Living

Vivocity is on the opposite side of the spectrum from all these malls. While the rest of the malls are labyrinths by virtue of land constraints, Vivocity is sprawling. It goes off in every which direction, and once you learn you’re at the wrong corner, it’s a long, woeful walk to get to your destination. And the walkways can get narrow at times, just like the walls of the Maze – except you’re surrounded by equally frustrated shoppers who are walking in the opposite direction to get to their shop of choice. You’d literally have to run from place to place if you hope to get all your shopping done in a day.

Well, at least there’s a cinema there.

4) Ion Orchard

Ion. Credit: CapitaLand

Ion Orchard. Credit: CapitaLand

Ion Orchard’s layout is actually quite clear – if you don’t stray into too many different floors. Ion’s upper floors look completely different from the lower floors, so it feels like you’ve strayed into another shopping mall if you go from the basement floors to the regular floors. It’s like staying in the Maze for too long and realising that the walls have shifted – you need to re-orient your bearings before you can escape from the shopping mall again! Add the fact that some of the escalators in Ion go past more than one floor at a go, and you’ll soon find your hapless self in an air-conditioned trap!

5) Jurong Point

Jurong Point. Credit: Event Business

Jurong Point. Credit: Event Business

Remember how frequently the walls change in the Maze? That’s what it feels like in Jurong Point. With the rise of a new wing (JP2), and then the frequent renovations and relocations of the shops in the mall, it’s almost as if invisible walls have sprouted up and herded you in a new direction. While it’s actually quite easy to navigate if you’ve been there once or twice, it’s ever-changing layout is reminiscent of the Maze’s walls.

Maze Runner - The Scorch Trials poster. Credit: Golden Village

Maze Runner – The Scorch Trials poster. Credit: Golden Village

But none of those shopping malls can really compare to the Maze that Thomas escaped – there are no random death traps out to get you. Thankfully, once out of these shopping malls, we’re in the relatively safe and navigable open area of Singapore.

For the Maze Runner crew, they’ve now got to face a post-apocalyptic world that’s rife with maniacs who built the Maze in the first place. Will they survive the Scorch Trials, or will one of them perish in the process?

Credit: KidlanderSuntec Singapore, Sentosa Cove Living, CapitaLand, Event Business, DC on Heels