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


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, Genre, many many, realistic, Seal of Goodness, Special Qualities, straightforward

What’s Inside the Box

Published by Bart Bonte. I played this on android.


The Short: Compelling proof that sometimes less is more.


Recommended if you like diagrams, balsa wood, floor pillows


I am a huge fan of kinetic/mechanical puzzles that exist in a virtual space. Think of all the people through history who dreamed up mechanical solutions to small problems or maybe just designed a few charming curiosities. Now imagine those people had an infinite work space in the form of computer programming. How many technical solutions and curiosities might they come up with? How many puzzles can be designed if you presuppose a plane, otherwise known as the face of a cube? Hundreds? Thousands?


I know there’s at least 40 levels in What’s Inside the Box because that’s where I got stuck on a particularly hard one. This is a great game. Puzzle difficulty ranges greatly. Sometimes the puzzle is related to some code or pattern on the face of the box but a good number of these puzzles take into account the natural laws of physics that affect a box. Others still require you, the player, to utilize the meta-components of the game itself.


Game play is streamlined, elegant even. I heart What’s Inside the Box.