I've said it before and I'll say it again, I want to live in Tesshi-e's world! I want friends/co-workers/bosses/total strangers who have nothing better to do than find really creative ways to lock me into a room so I can figure my way out. Only, I want them to make sure that it's a place where there's a bathroom attached, dontcha know, 'cause sometimes I'm a little slow with the escaping and a person has needs. Yes, Tesshi-e is back with their 60th (and isn't that a mind boggling number) room escape, Escape from the Kid's Room, which plays like Tesshi-e: The Greatest Hits Collector's Edition 2.
Our story begins with Mr. Y, the protagonist of Escape from Mr. Y's Room 2. Mr. Y has called and invited us over to his house for some room escaping fun. This time around, instead of a cozy yet minimal living room Mr. Y has gone all out and turned his kids' room into a room escaping treat, featuring a lot of puzzles and items that should look very familiar to anyone with a passing knowledge of Tesshi-e games. Wander around this charming and faintly alarming room, poking into every nook and cranny, solve some logical puzzles, find a lot of items, and even perform a tiny bit of construction to find your way out. Ah, welcome back, I've missed you, wacky Tesshi-e construction!
If you're not familiar with the Tesshi-e oeuvre (and, if so, why not?) then the game is pretty simple as room escapes go. Wander around either by using the navigation bars at the sides of the screens or click on objects for a closer look. Find some objects (actually, rather a lot of objects), figure out how to use them, solve some puzzles, and pretty soon you'll be wandering the night streets, either with or without the usual happy coin. As you take the time to explore this child's room you will begin to see a lot of familiar things. Hey, isn't that the bird figurine from Escape from the Hexagonal Room? And there are some hungry hippos, just like in Escape from the Snowman's Room. Look, there's capsules just like in Escape from Bed Room! And yes, that digital clock puzzle looks a bit like the one in the original Escape from Mr. Y's Room 2. Ah, the memories...
Analysis: So, yes, there's a lot that's familiar in Escape from the Kid's Room, but there's also some fresh new puzzle fun to be had as well. The puzzles are Tesshi-e's usual mix of logic, math, letters, and colors, and while not the most difficult out there are definitely a fun challenge. This is the best thing about Tesshi-e's escapes, the logic and the flow of the challenges. Many room escape designers never seem to master this ability to make the puzzles flow logically from one to the next in a wonderful progression.
Of course the visuals are stunning as always. This time around the designer has eschewed the use of a lot of shiny and reflective services which only highlights both the realism and the charm of a kid's bedroom. The only problem is that it's a bit...well, industrial, isn't it? Almost jail-like with those white cinderblock walls and small windows, as if Mr. Y has not just created an interesting room but an interesting prison for his tykes. Mind you, the sparseness of the room makes the fact that there is no changing cursor easier to bear, as pixel hunting is kept to a minimum. Accompanying your exploration is also one kicking jazz tune rather than the usual, more plaintive music we've become accustomed to with Tesshi-e.
It's amazing how far we've come from Escape from Mr. Y's Room 2 to this point. Now we have fantastic English translations, better inventory control, and better controls (that save button is fantastic when you want to find both endings). We're still waiting, though, for Tesshi-e to pump up the puzzles into more difficult territory. Let's not sweat the small stuff. Escape from the Kid's Room is the perfect mid-week break, challenging but not too difficult, and a nostalgic look back for one of our most popular room escape designers. Pretty to look at and fun to play, Escape from the Kid's Room is definitely the perfect escape for those not wanting to spend too much time locked into a strange kid's room. And hey, maybe for giggles we can lock the kids in their later and see if they can make it out.