Aesthetic, Bad, Challenging, Genre, paranoid, realistic, Special Qualities, straightforward

RED

Published by hozdesign. I played this on android.

The Short: More RED flags, courtesy of hozdesign

Recommended if you like dark alleyways, tomatoes

Description: Let’s begin with what is good about this game. Aesthetically, RED is cool. A nighttime puzzle complete with eerie lighting and harmonious cricket noises. RED follows a typical escape game trope of presenting a weird and spooky vibe while never actually delivering any horror elements. It’s like a zen garden of creepy, after-dark hangouts. I like it.

What I didn’t like about RED is the extreme difficulty.  I was very suspicious of this game because I had a really terrible experience playing ESC which is another game by hozdesign. RED turned out to be eminently more solvable but still, the finale puzzle of this game was beyond hard. It was actually just straight up sadistic. Even after a concerted effort to solve it (and I really thought I was on the right track), I finally succumbed to watching a walk through. I had to read and re-read this solution three times to make sure I grasped what it was telling me. Hozdesign really fails at creating puzzles that have one, understandable solution that truly contains a “eureka” moment regardless if you solve it or have it shown to you. Instead, they tend to offer up puzzles so complex and multi-faceted that it’s fairly impossible to know you’re on the right track even when you’re halfway through.

Games are no fun when the creators don’t play fair. Sorry, RED but I’m just not a fan.

Difficulty Level: Beyond Hard
Difficulty Elements: esoteric puzzle arrays | cascade

Aesthetic, Genre, realistic, straightforward

One Room Escape

Published by ToiGames. I played this on android.

The Short: Turns out that “standard issue” and “snooze fest” are flip sides of the same coin.

Recommended if you like sensible living room design

Description: One Room Escape is fine. I’m being rude by implying that this game is boring because there’s really nothing wrong with it. And yet, I struggled to find anything noteworthy to write about here. One Room Escape has good puzzle difficulty. Explore a bookcase, a desk, and some hilariously bland decorative objects to find your keys and codes. This game is somewhat challenging so it gets point for that. From a design standpoint, this is a pretty well-rendered version of your one successful friend’s super nice living room. It’s a straight up regular, vacation escape game.

Difficulty Level: Easy – Medium
Difficulty Elements: tricky ending | readily-apparent puzzle arrays | low cascade

Aesthetic, Genre, horror, realistic, straightforward

Haunted Room

Published by noprops. I played this on android.

The Short: I’m going to say some mean things about this game but really it was okay.

Recommended if you like studio apartments, poorly rendered ghosts

Description: Noprops can be really hit or miss. They made this one game that I think is absolutely ingenious called Escape from Escape Room  but so far everything else I’ve seen by them has been on the worse side of fine. Haunted Room has the advantage of being so poorly animated that it’s actually funny. This game definitely makes its digs in Design Netherworld.

In terms of difficulty, this game is better than most in its class. The ending has a trick which I enjoyed solving and along the way there were one or two surprises. Ho-hum, it didn’t ruin my day.

Difficulty Level: Medium
Difficulty Elements:  esoteric puzzle arrays | trick ending | low cascade | no Absurdity

Aesthetic, Bad, Genre, realistic, straightforward

Escape Game “ESC”

Published by hozdesign. I played this on android.

The Short: Betrayal.

Recommended if you like true disappointments. Not the easy kind. The real kind.

Description: Okay. I am going to majorly ding on this game but I don’t want to do so frivolously.  Let me start at the beginning with ESC.

Continue reading “Escape Game “ESC””

Aesthetic, Bad, cute, Genre, realistic

Chotto Escape 006 [Multiple Iterations]

Published by かもの巣窟 . I played this on android.

Iterations: 001 – 006

The Short: I accidentally played 006 first. I would rather get a paper cut than play o01 – 005.

Recommended if you like being trapped in freaky dollhouses, grating saxophones

Description: From a puzzling perspective, Chotto Escape 006 was fine. It was the aesthetic and atmospheric stuff that really turned me off. To be clear, this is not a horror/creep themed game. And yet, it sure felt like one. Maybe I just have some un-dealt with issues surrounding bears with giant doll heads, claustrophobic grass, and shrill saxophone music. I can’t say for sure why but this game made me feel like I needed an adult.

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

Aesthetic, Genre, realistic, straightforward

Sunken Escape

Published by noprops. I played this on android.

The Short: Average escape game except there’s fish now.

Recommended if you like mild absurdity, awkward sea turtles

Description: There’s not much to say here. If you play escape games, you’ll like this one. The ending was a little tricky.

Difficulty Level: Medium
Difficulty Elements:  some Absurdity | some cascade | esoteric puzzle arrays | invisible puzzle arrays

Aesthetic, beautiful, cascade, Challenging, fantastical, fantasy, Genre, many many, realistic, science fiction, Seal of Goodness, Special Qualities

The Room (Multiple Iterations) ($)

Published by Fireproof Studios. I played on both android and Microsoft Windows.

($) Iterations: One, Two and Three

 

The Short: My fucking favorite.
Recommended if you like pocket watches, Gothic literature, pivoting around a fixed axis
Description:  The Room is challenging, beautiful, memorable, and fun. The interface alone is enough to fangirl over. Really smooth game play, streamlined tutorial process, and an intuitive goal: open the box! I recommend  playing these games in chronological order. Also, strongly recommend playing this with a device that offers touchscreen.
These puzzles are hard! Despite the difficulty, I never felt cheated by this game. Every solution was a eureka! moment and never a let down. The mythology is kind of kooky but the overall vibe created by both the visuals and the music was truly unique if not enchanting. The theme music reminded me of the Harry Potter franchise which I think is pretty cool even though I’m not really into Harry Potter stuff. A little bit creepy, a whole lot of antiques, discover the power of ‘the null’ for yourself.

Difficulty Level: Hard
Difficulty Elements:  lots of cascade| invisible puzzle arrays | esoteric puzzle arrays | some Absurdity

I preferred The Room One and Three over Two but I have been debated on this point by others. More photos of the incredible design below:

Continue reading “The Room (Multiple Iterations) ($)”