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, 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.

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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

Bad, doors galore, Genre, many many, Special Qualities, straightforward

100 Doors Challenge

 

Published by Protey Apps. I played this on android.

The Short: I wrote this review quickly so I could uninstall this game as soon as possible.

Recommended if you like mansplainers, Doors Galore, text boxes

Description: This is what I call a “Doors Galore” escape game which is not my favorite kind. Essentially, you are presented with a seemingly infinite number of static images of doors and the required objects needed to manipulate in order to pass through to the next level. Doors Galores tend to be simplistic, ready made for speed-solving and ultimately not that much fun in my opinion. What makes 100 Doors Challenge particularly egregious is the presence of Jonathan, a man (weirdly rendered from a graphics perspective) who takes up your whole screen with his macho stance, tweed jacket and smoking a pipe that I can only presume is supposed to invoke Sherlock Holmes. Jonathan will instruct and compliment you as you proceed through the first bunch of levels.

I do not like Jonathan. In fact, I was completely confused by him until I realized that there is a Russian language version of 100 Doors Challenge and suddenly Jonathan’s powerful manly stance and authoritative attitude towards me began to make sense. I don’t think the developers of this game ever thought a female person would play it.

Aesthetic, Bad, doors galore, fantastical, fantasy, Genre, horror, many many, Special Qualities

Hidden Escape

Published by Zenfox Games. I played this on android.

The Short: Design Netherworld is real and Hidden Escape is one of its knighted henchmen.

Recommended if you like clutter, tunnel vision, amateur collage work

Description: Hidden Escape is a variant on escape game that I don’t prefer. It’s a “doors galore” where there is no room to escape from but only a series of static images of doors and a panoply of objects in foreground which constitute the puzzles. It’s usually just one or two puzzles per door and then you proceed to the next doorway. What’s interesting about Hidden Escape is the truly awful design. It’s so bad that it’s actually very entertaining if you’re into that sort of thing. The first few levels seem to have their shit together. They’re a brief tour through some of the more obvious themes in “design netherworld,” specifically “Medieval-ish, Will there be Fairies?” and “Lesser Steampunk” and “Year Round Christmas” and even some horror/creep attempts. But things quickly go off the rails and you find yourself escaping from increasingly bizarre amalgamations of all of the aforementioned categories.

Game interface is acceptable and puzzling-wise, Hidden Escape is fine.

Pictures from Hidden Escape:
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Aesthetic, Bad, cartoonish, Genre, straightforward

Adventure Escape: Cult Mystery

Published by Haiku Games. I played this on android.

Iterations: Xmas Killer, Cost of Jealousy, Carnival, Space Crisis, Time Library, Framed, Castle, Murder Manor, Asylum

The Short: Teenage girls float around while you solve simplistic puzzles.

Recommended if you like princess things, watered-down Nancy Drew

Description:
I could not stand this game. Obviously, the product here is teen glamour but I was willing to go along for the ride. I had a Barbie or two, way back when. However, the game play in Adventure Escape: Cult Mystery was so waterlogged with exposition that I nearly got a headache just trying to get started. I mean, for god’s sake Kate! Melissa has been missing for over 24 hours and she might be in a cult! Let’s quicken the pace here a bit. The element that finally made me actually stop playing and uninstall this game was the significant pause between zooming in on an object to inspect it and then zooming out again. I’ve had more fun in waiting rooms versus playing this game.

In researching for this post, I realized that Adventure Escape has another one called Time Library. So bad it might be good, right? If I play it, I promise I’ll post about it.