DOORS

Published by 58 WORKS. I played this on android.

The Short: I actually didn’t hate this.

Recommended if you like mild cleverness, giving credit where it’s due

Description: I don’t like a Doors Galore. Escaping from static rooms through hundreds of doors is not usually a satisfying adventure, in my opinion. It also doesn’t help that, normally, a Doors Galore escape game is churned out by unloving creators who may or may not be machines. DOORS is different. It actually has some substance to it. The puzzles are witty on occasion and the graphics aren’t a full blown plume out of Design Netherworld. The rapid-fire nature of this play, paired with the surprising charm reminded me strongly of one of my favorites What’s Inside the Box

That all being said, I think this is an inferior example of 58 Works’s catalog. I think these guys/gals make awesome games. My favorite of theirs is definitely Ruins

Difficulty: Easy
Difficulty Elements:
ok cascade | both readily apparent & invisible puzzle arrays | both straightforward & esoteric interfaces | no Absurdity | both typical & unique solves

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Weird Escape

Published by Tengeri Games.  I played this on android.

The Short: Weird but not like, that weird.

Recommended if you like Edward Gorey, ink blots, German expressionsism

Description: I didn’t care for this game but I do have some nice things to say about it. Weird Escape is a very curious creation. First off, the artwork is wonderful. Stylistically we are in the world of pen & ink horror not unlike Edward Gorey’s famed Gothic creations or Franz Kafka’s lesser-known scribblings. So, kudos to the designer, who I believe is named Jenki G.

Speaking fairly,  Weird Escape is actually an extremely good version of a Doors Galore. It might even be the only good version of a Doors Galore that’s ever existed! Doors Galores tend to be the most ill-designed, scornful things you can find, whereas Weird Escape is definitely a beloved child born to a nurturing family. I guess it’s as the saying goes, “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”

Still, this game is not too exciting. Objectively, Weird Escape just doesn’t have good puzzling going on. It’s very simplistic, with one trick per door, and the drawings themselves, while cool, do not extend into any animation territory. Everything is perfectly static.  The short puzzle chains are also standard issue puzzle varieties that can be found in almost every other room escape you’ve ever tried. So, despite the name, Weird Escape really isn’t all that weird. Still, this was a memorable experience.

Difficulty: Easy
Difficulty Elements: 
very little cascade | readily apparent puzzle arrays | straightforward interfaces | no Absurdity | typical solves

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.

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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Difficulty:  Easy
Difficulty Elementslow cascade | readily apparent puzzle arrays | straightforward interfaces | no Absurdity | typical & unique solves