Aesthetic, Genre, many many, Seal of Goodness, Special Qualities, straightforward, vacation

Can You Escape?

Published by MobiGrow. I played this on android.

In Short: Gold standard escape game.

Recommended if you like tranquil living rooms, low key music, and being safe in the knowledge that winning is its own reward.

Description: Can You Escape? has the most basic format I know of for escape games: There are multiple rooms to escape from. Each room is different and unrelated from the others. There is no over-arching story but there are plenty of keys, matches, and codes to look for and some relaxing lounge music for your listening pleasure. Can You Escape? is a totally decent game.  I like the room designs. They’re all a bit different and there’s definitely some tongue-and-cheek decorating choices. So the question is, can you escape Can You Escape? ? There’s only one way to find out.

Difficulty Level: Easy
Difficulty Elements: low cascade | readily-apparent 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, 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

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, beautiful, Challenging, Genre, horror, paranoid, realistic, Seal of Goodness, Special Qualities

Dead Secret ($)

Published by Robot Invader. I played this on Microsoft Windows. (Available on Steam)

The Short: Absolutely terrifying. $15

Recommended if you like Japanese-horror levels of fear, jump scares, crying yourself to sleep

Description:
This game is really great. The mythology is what brings it to life. The case you’re investigating is interesting enough and the puzzles really fit the tone of the story. Also, the game is set in the 1960s which gives it a little extra pizzazz. But what’s really cool about this game is the underlying supernatural powers at play. After you get acquainted with the world you are quickly introduced to a really fantastic and fresh story that involves an alternate dimension and at least one bloodthirsty spirit creature.

My boyfriend insisted we play this game at night in the dark which was a shitty idea because as soon as we encountered the first big game play hurdle (which coincides, of course, with the biggest scare of the first 30 minutes) I was too freaked out to continue playing. Please Note: I’m not talking about the mirror thing. I’m not a wuss.

DISCLAIMERS: Dead Secret isn’t really an escape game though it has many things in common with one. Also In researching for this post, I was confused that this game costs $15 since I normally spend zero dollars on games. That said, this game is 100% worth $15. Maybe I will try to play it again since I already spent the cash. This time though, in the bright light of day.

More images below:

Continue reading “Dead Secret ($)”

Aesthetic, Genre, paranoid, realistic, straightforward, vacation

Cabin Escape: Alice’s Story

Published by Glitch Games. I played this on an iPad.

The Short: This game was good but felt like Part I of a bigger game.

Recommended if you like fireplaces, refurbished cabins, diagnosing other people’s problems.

Description: Cabin Escape: Alice’s Story is highly narrative with decent puzzles. The atmospheric design is very creepy though I expected a jump scare or some kind of revelatory development the entire time. None materialized. The space you explore is very cool, more fully realized than most room escapes. As a result, I felt disappointed when I won this game. I wanted to stick around longer and discover more about Alice. I would play another game by this company but I wouldn’t recommend this one. It was like a trailer somehow.