Some room escape games feature obvious places to escape from: strange rooms, abandoned buildings, haunted houses, etc. But what about the games that take place in a space that you would really rather stay? Seriously, after certain weeks (don't get me started) you just want to find a nice bar somewhere and start kicking back the drinks. So why would you want to escape? Oh, yeah, it's Weekday Escape time, that's why. Welcome to Escape from the Small Bar.
Designed by Tesshi-e, this is certainly the kind of place you'd rather escape to than escape from, but escaping is what we do, so let's go. The first thing you notice in this charming little space is the warm, inviting decor. Adding to the cozy atmosphere is the tinkly piano piece playing in the background. Perfect for relaxing and trying to shed whatever troubles are bothering you. However, sooner or later we all have to go home and face reality, so eventually you'll have to try and figure out how to unlock the door. Maybe after just one more round...
Wander around with the use of navigation bars and arrows and you will find a few mysteries about this unknown bar. How can you get the jukebox to play? Can you figure your way into the back room? And will that piano player ever stop? With a nice balance of puzzle solving, use of found objects, and even a little amusing construction, you will eventually find the answers to all of those questions and more. Will you find the answers to the questions that drove you to the bar in the first place? That, dear reader, is up to you.
If you had to use one word to describe Tesshi-e's room escapes, that word would be tight. Not the most difficult escapes out there, but some of the most satisfyingly complete in terms of puzzles, atmosphere, and enjoyment. The puzzles flow logically from one to another, the backgrounds are easy on the eyes, the music isn't terribly annoying and adds to the atmosphere, and despite the Japanese writing (with a few English phrases) you can solve your way out with no problems. Tesshi-e has even eschewed color-based puzzles for this one, making it accessible to everyone who enjoys solving their way out of a locked room. Now if Tesshi-e would only discover changing cursors to prevent pixel hunting, then the games would be perfect.
Escape from the Small Bar is not Tesshi-e's most difficult, almost a "Tesshi-e lite", but a charming little escape that will leave a smile on your face. A game as compact and fun as the narrow little space it inhabits, a pleasure for those who enjoy solving their way through locked doors and yes, there is, as always, a happy coin escape. Time to go bar hopping! Just remember, you do need to leave eventually.