cascade, Editorial

Definition: Cascade

I am not a gamer (you can verify this in the About section). I don’t know all of the technical terms for things in games. However, the experience of playing so many escape games has made me invent a term I call “cascade.” The more cascade, the better. Let me explain:

In a garden variety escape game, you will find several discrete puzzles in a room. Generally speaking, the first puzzles you find are the easiest to solve (there are numerous caveats to this rule but just go with me here). Once the simple puzzles are completed more intermediate ones will reveal themselves. Then, finally the “finale” puzzle of the room will become clear to you. The finale puzzle typically draws on rules or patterns you learned during the other puzzles. The finale puzzle reveals the Master Key that is needed to leave the room/building.

Good cascade occurs when the game designers have taken the extra time to create many, MANY nested puzzles, that is to say the puzzle progresses from something like:key on the floor>opens the safe> 4 digit code> opens the closet door>teddy bear>rip open teddy bear>bottle of honey>use honey to glue plate back together>secret message>Revelation>Master Key. In a puzzle with so-so cascade, you might only get the first three layers and you’re done before you know it.

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