So the day starts out like any other. There you sit in your cramped cubicle under flickering fluorescents, typing desultorily while wondering if you can sneak into Facebook for a second and check what's going on. But what's this? A summons from the boss? Heart racing you leap from your squeaky, broken chair. Is this the opportunity you've been waiting for? A raise? A promotion? Or the opposite, are you getting canned for too much net surfing? Shakily you make your way to the big boss' big office, praying for the former and not the latter. You enter nervously, hoping the next words you hear are not "Perhaps it's time for you to pursue other opportunities". Wait, where's the boss? Why is the door locked? And what does this memo mean, "Escape this Room!" Perhaps it means you shouldn't be playing Weekday Escape at work? Welcome to Escape from Boss Room, the latest room escape from Tesshi-e.
Tesshi-e games have always had amusing start scenarios, but this one takes the cake. Is this boss insane or just stupid? Seriously, would you lock an employee into such a luxurious office as this? I'd be afraid that they'd either trash the place or take anything that isn't nailed down. Or bolted down, as you will find in the game. Well, considering that this person has a nameplate on his desk that just says "Boss", maybe it would be fun to trash the office. Sorry, digressing. Nevertheless this wacky setup is the beginning of some seriously good casual gameplay.
Although Escape from Boss Room is a classic single room escape, this room is vast. This is the type of room that takes two or three clicks to reach a piece of furniture for a close up, creating some navigational oddities that can be confusing at first. Still, it is a single room, so eventually you, you lucky gamer you, will figure it out. With its huge space, fancy furniture, expensive trinkets, and big-screen TV this is the room of a boss you could love to hate.
The one thing you can always count on in a Tesshi-e escape is attention to detail. First of all are the backgrounds and objects. Serious attention to detail is placed in the colors, textures, shapes, lighting, reflections, etc., enough to make this feel like a real room. Fortunately, this same detail oriented approach has been used to create a wide array of fantastic puzzles as well, making this one of Tesshi-e's denser efforts, reminiscent of Escape from 5th Door, albeit with only two endings. Multiple locked doors and drawers, puzzles (one color based), logic problems, tools, and keys await those who dare enter the boss' lair. Even the music is not Tesshi-e's usual fare, making this an extremely enjoyable game. A mute button, a save function, easy inventory control, all of the usual bells and whistles are included, although we still have to deal with no changing cursor and a bit of pixel hunting.
Escape from Boss Room is mostly in English, although there are still a few instances where you will get incomprehensible Japanese (unless, of course, you can read Japanese). Hilarity still ensues with some of the "Engrish" translations; the best one is about a life-size dog statue (or is that a real, stuffed dog? Ewww!) that the game calls a "dog doll". The game inquires if the boss likes dogs, but I seriously want to know if he likes to play with dollies there in his overblown office. Normally the difference between the regular and "happy coin" escapes in a Tesshi-e game boil down to the difference between continuing a walk or getting a nice beverage, or the difference between getting a drink and getting a full meal. In Escape from Boss Room, however, the reward difference between the escapes is pretty huge, just like the boss' office.
Escape from Boss Room is perhaps not that elusive "perfect" escape, but it comes darn close in terms of design, puzzles, and just plain fun. Challenging, beautiful and entertaining, this is the perfect way to waste some time, at work or at home. Put your escaping caps on, guys, it's time to Escape from Boss Room!