You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into... the Out Of Your Comfort Zone. Playing room escape games can be a comforting pastime, as we've all grown familiar with what to expect; y'know the stuff, intuitively using objects and solving puzzles to find the final exit. Newly emerging Japanese game developer Detarou challenges our notions of comfort and familiarity in Henna Escape, a surreal and almost totally unintuitive point-and-click game.
While the basic premise of Henna Escape is similar to most other room escape games, that is using your mouse to locate objects and solve puzzles to find your way out, the normality pretty much ends there. You start out thinking you know exactly what's going on, until you do ordinarily normal things, like open a closet door or look through a window. Who knew that someone in a panda-suit holding a red balloon could be so creepy? And you won't believe what a flower-pot is for... Okay, I am exaggerating just a little tiny bit, because guess what? There's a screwdriver. And guess what else? It does screwdriver stuff. This is a Japanese escape game, so there are moments when you click and receive information in Japanese, but the puzzles are completely solvable without having to resort to translations.
This is certainly a game that will leave you thinking "What was that all about?" and you will probably even finish it wondering how the heck you even did. We all love those cute Minoto games, and Henna Escape continues the tradition of quirky Japanese games, but in an edgier way. Trippy moments aside, the slick graphics and smooth gameplay definitely make this game worth playing.
So prepare yourself for a trip into the unknown and the unexpected, and when you get through to the other side congratulate yourself for trying something new. Ah, what am I saying? You're going to love it!