This week we find ourselves in yet another space in which it seems a shame to have to escape from. After all, this is a lovely little garden, complete with trees, plants, shade, a nice bench to sit on, a fountain (albeit a broken one) and even some animal companions with which to pass the time. So why should you make the effort? Because escaping is what we do, and this is Weekday Escape, of course. Welcome to Escape from the Garden!
Designed by Maruho, this charming little Japanese escape game is a delightful little romp through someone's back yard. How did we get locked in there? Well, it may say so in the opening, but I don't read Japanese, so it remains a mystery for now. What is obvious, however, are the items and clues scattered around the space that will eventually result in leaving what is really a pleasant little place to spend some time. Escape from the Garden is a nice balance of use of found objects, interacting with your surroundings, and lots of logic. For such a short, sweet game there's lots of puzzling packed into the experience.
The usual downside to a Japanese escape game, for those who do not speak Japanese, is all of the Japanese text. But escape aficionados should be able to reason their way through without being able to read any of the cues. Navigating the space can be a little strange at first as well, what with the multiple turns and angles available to be explored. Some color based puzzles and lack of a changing cursor round out the difficulties that can be encountered while relaxing in this quaint little garden.
So why feature a game in a foreign language that has all those flaws? Because despite the minor problems, Escape from the Garden is an amusing, delightful example of the room escape genre. Amusing gameplay that includes logical puzzles that flow easily from one to another, a charming area to explore, and the added bonus of needing to interact with the garden's animal inhabitants to complete your escape. Combined that makes an escape worth...well, escaping. So take a little time and enjoy the seasonal and adorable Escape from the Garden. And remember, kindness to animals is its own reward.