And now for something completely different. For each Weekday Escape we tend to favor room escape games filled with logic, shiny cool puzzles, polished graphics, intuitive controls, etc. But every once in a while, all that logical thinking provokes the pendulum to swing the other way. Then, all we crave are seriously surreal, effed up escape games that make absolutely no sense, but are a joy to play for their sheer bizarreness. Enter the Gold Door Escape by Detarou. You're traveling through another dimension...a dimension of lazy sumos and hungry cowardly ninjas...
Don't get me wrong, there are some pretty logical puzzles in Gold Door Escape, they are simply eclipsed by the madness that is going on in this strange place. A place where sumo wrestlers lounge near a lobby where an alien sits, just downstairs from someone in a pink dress who looks like they belong in The Shining, just down the hall from...but half the fun of Gold Door Escape is anticipating what's around the next corner, so I don't want to spoil the many surprises in store.
Despite the surreal images, Gold Door Escape plays a lot more logically than, say, any Minoto game you might care to name. It's the basic room escape convention of navigation by bars, picking up, examining, and using objects, and keeping an eagle-eye for any clues that might be scattered around on the walls, floors, underneath sumo wrestlers, etc. Inventory control is pretty basic, click once on an item to use it, double-click to pull it into close up. And considering that there are four endings (two of which kill you), a save feature would have been nice. Making up for the primitive control structure is the blessing of a changing cursor, indicating where the hotspots are.
For anyone who has ever read Japanese Manga or watched Anime they know that the Japanese have a rather casual attitude towards religious symbolism, especially Christian symbolism. Or, at least, you would know that if you read the original Japanese Manga, as American editors tend to downplay, blur, or change these things sometimes for the American market so as not to offend. Here, Taro uses some religious imagery in a bizarrely amusing way, but perhaps it is not for the faint of heart or those who are easily offended by the use of Christian iconography.
Despite skating the line of being sacrilegious (or, perhaps, because of it) Gold Door Escape is a rollicking good escape the room game. Most of the fun is had in anticipating the bizarre, hilarious, or surreal scenes that await the player as they make their way through the strangest building in existence. Fun, slightly scandalous, and surprisingly logical, Gold Door is the perfect mid-week escape, especially for anyone who appreciates the outlandishness to be found within.