Aesthetic, cartoonish, cascade, cute, Genre, Seal of Goodness, Special Qualities, straightforward

Matryoshka

Published by Kotorinosu. I played this on android

The Short: Fantastic game. Do I detect a bit of humor at my expense?

Recommended if you like tranquil blues and Russian nesting dolls

Description: It has been a little while since I actually played this game but I wanted to get this post out of my draft queue so I’m going to do this purely from memory.

This game is medium hard. Kotorinsosu really succeeds at making games with good cascade.  Matryoshaka is no exception. Puzzle areas and tools tend to get re-used which expands the potentials in the game and makes gameplay a more dynamic experience.

Something else I really like about Matryoshka is the vague sense of cheekiness about how all of the different puzzles work together. I credit this as a design success. So much of what’s enjoyable about an escape game is learning the “rules” of the tiny space you’re invading. Really good creators know how to include a certain self-contained attitude or tone within the gamescape such that when you successfully solve something you can also roll your eyes a little, as if a good friend has done something that is just “so them.”

Difficulty Level: Medium
Difficulty Elements: cascade| esoteric puzzle arrays

Aesthetic, cartoonish, cute, Genre, minimalist, straightforward

ROOM Δ / ROOM Γ

Published by Kotorinosu. I played this on android.

The Short: I wanted to like these games. I like other games by this Publisher. But both of these games required some pretty enormous leaps of inference.

Recommended if you like beanbag chairs, Debussy, tidy work spaces

Description:
There is no denying it. Kotorinosu has swell graphics. ROOM Δ and ROOM Γ are no exceptions. They are minimalist and cute. I would call the difficulty level high on both game. Even bearing that in mind, I felt cheated by ROOM Δ and ROOM Γ  two specific times: Without spoiling anything (because maybe you’d rather see for yourself) I will describe:  Continue reading “ROOM Δ / ROOM Γ”

Aesthetic, cartoonish, fantasy, Genre, straightforward

Kalaquli R

Published by 58 Works. I played this on android.

The Short: Kalaquli is a better escape game than most but it’s missing a crucial ingredient: cascade.

Recommended if you like tea houses under siege

Description: I like all of the following things about Kalaquli R: First, the aesthetics are good. Set in a Japanese(?) tea house that’s beset by dart-blowing ninjas, Kalaquili R features cool sliding doors, secret compartments and samurai artwork. As with the visuals, the sound in Kalaquli R succeeds at creating a cohesive place and mood. Second, I really love it when games “open up” as the game proceeds. Kalaquli R has multiple tiers as you move through the game though I can’t say that they get harder or anything. The world merely expands. Puzzle quality was decent though definitely on the medium-easy side.

What’s missing from Kalaqui R is a sense that the puzzles interlock and relate to each other. Instead, it’s more of a fixed set of different puzzle areas that you extinguish, one at a time. A perfect example of this is the courtyard in this game. It’s an entire “room” and yet only 2 puzzles derive from it. Many escape games suffer from lack of cascade but Kalaqui R was a surprising one to fall into this trap because everything else about it was above average.

Difficulty Level: Medium
Difficulty Elements:  invisible puzzle arrays | readily-apparent puzzle arrays | low cascade | no Absurdity

Aesthetic, cartoonish, cascade, fantasy, Genre, Seal of Goodness, Special Qualities, straightforward

Sphinx

Published by Kotorinosu. I played this on android.

The Short: Who doesn’t love a good old puzzle-jaunt through an ancient pyramid? 

Recommended if you like Ancient Egypt, the sound of your own footsteps

Description: Sphinx rocks! Really nice design aesthetic with both visuals and sound. I also really dug the Items design. The aesthetic here reminds me of a lot of flash animation. Well textured and cartoon-y, Sphinx contains hidden chambers, bizarre contraptions and plenty of golden statues to stare at you as you proceed through the game. Items are non-static even in your inventory and you can combine/deconstruct items to create new implements. Item crafting is always a really awesome aspect to an escape game because it expands the potential solutions at your disposal and makes the game more dynamic overall. Sphinx also “opens up” as the game proceeds and I would argue that this game actually increases in difficulty through the levels.

Difficulty Level: Medium
Difficulty Elements: esoteric puzzle arrays | cascade | item construction/deconstruction

 

Aesthetic, cartoonish, cute, funny, Genre

Rescue the Labour

Published by Games2Jolly. I played this on android.

The Short: If you liked Rescue the Antsyou will like Rescue the Labour

Recommended if you like bad Japanese translations, clobbering things, Nickelodeon logic.

Description: I think they meant to call this game “Rescue the Worker” but something got lost in translation. This game is fun, short, and somewhat challenging. I liked it. If you want to read more, check out my post about Rescue the Ants.

Difficulty Level: Medium
Difficulty Elements: esoteric puzzle arrays | readily-apparent puzzle arrays | low Absurdity | low cascade

Aesthetic, cartoonish, fantasy, funny, Genre

Rescue the Ants

Created by Games2Jolly. I played this on android.

The Short: A fun, silly way to spend your next 25 minutes.

Recommended if you like bad Japanese translations, clobbering things, Nickelodeon logic.

Description: Ants are being sucked into a vortex and it’s your job to rescue them. Never before have you embarked on a mission of such ambiguous import. Goal confusion aside. Rescue the Ants is a super fun game. It’s a timed, point-and-click, puzzle adventure with stylized/wonky graphics and medium-hard puzzles.  The graphics are probably the strongest suit for this game. Definitely Nickelodeon-ish in the best way possible. Don’t forget to *drag* items. Took me over a minute to figure that out.

Difficulty Level: Medium
Difficulty Elements:  cascade | some Absurdity | esoteric puzzle arrays | readily-apparent puzzle arrays

Aesthetic, cartoonish, cascade, cute, funny, Genre, Seal of Goodness, Special Qualities

Doodle Cat

The Short: Play with a funny cat and craft more and more items for the cat to play with.

Recommended if you like cats, New Yorker cartoons, tamagotchis

Description: 
Doodle Cat is not an escape game. I decided to include it here though because this game made a big impression on me. It’s very clever and the minimalist design is a lot of fun. If you like escape games, you would probably like Doodle Cat as well. It is low key and it has incredible cascade. In fact, the whole game is basically just cascade, cascade, cascade in the form of item crafting. You begin with a few elements and must combine them to create a vast trove of treasures for your cat.