While here at Weekday Escape we tend to stick to certain proven game designers, once in a while it's fun to discover and experience something new. How nice (and coincidental) that a few days ago we ran across a new designer, TeraLumina, and his fantastic new room escape, Ruby Loft Escape. Serendipity!
The basic premise of Ruby Loft Escape is twofold: you must explore the room and do the usual actions to escape (find objects, use objects, solve puzzles) while at the same time complete a secondary quest, that of finding rubies hidden in the loft. Rather a lot of rubies, really, and although it's a lovely loft and features some nice furnishings (including a Steinway piano and a Warhol painting) one wonders what sort of person leaves that many unset rubies just lying around for anyone to find. Someone with a lot of money and not a lot of common sense, I'm thinking. Maybe Donald Trump?
Navigating around this loft is, well, pretty darn easy since you've only the one head-on view of the loft, rather reminiscent of Petithima's early work with one or two wall escapes. In this case, though, although you are not turning around in a three dimensional space there is a lot to explore in this richly appointed apartment. You can examine different areas by clicking on them for a close up, and the more you click around the more you will discover as you search for a way out (and red, red riches at the same time). Said exploration is helped along by the blessed relief of a changing cursor, something other game designers could bother to master (not that I'm naming names or anything, Tesshi-e). Click on an object to examine it or pick it up, find a use for some of the odder things you gather, solve a few puzzles, and pretty soon you'll be out into a lovely mountainous outdoors, refreshed and ready to start the day.
The puzzles in Ruby Loft Escape aren't terribly difficult and depend mostly on your observational skills as you wander around the place stealing precious stones. What makes the game so fun is the challenge of getting a high score, a combination of quickness of escape (yes, there is a timer keeping track) and ability to find the rubies themselves (bonus points for finding them all). This is more of a ten minutes and out type of deal, perfect for a mid-week refresher.
While not the most difficult escape we've ever featured (as a point of fact, one of the easier ones), Ruby Loft Escape is nonetheless a wonderful and bracing mid-week treat, a visual and logical delight from a relative newcomer, one we're looking forward to seeing more of. So have fun robbing some poor rich person blind, and hey, my birthday's coming up soon and I happen to really like rubies...