A few weeks back the popular Japanese room escape designer Tesshi-e took us back to the Escape Hotel, that wacky vacation spot that caters to the needs of those who feel the need to logic their way out a locked room, any locked room, at least once a week. But reasoning your way to your hotel room isn't really an escape, is it? It felt more like an appetizer, enough to whet the appetite but leaving one longing for more. Where, the reader may ask, is the really fun bit, where you get locked into your hotel room and can't get out? Fortunately, Tesshi-e has provided that more with a beefy main course of The Escape Hotel 4. Now this is proper room escaping!
Like its predecessor The Escape Hotel 3, Escape Hotel 4 is one of Tesshi-e's better efforts as it involves a wacky vacation paradise that consists of lots of logic, math, color puzzles, and the frustrations of being locked in by mischievous staff. Escape Hotel 4 leaves off most of the construction and concentrates on good old logic to find your way to dinner or, if you're lucky and can find the lucky coin alternate escape, something even more relaxing. Included are all the bells and whistles common in any Tesshi-e escape: tight controls, logical progression, easy inventory, the ability to switch languages and save your efforts, and the ever-present wobbly picture puzzle. Yes, that thing is back again, some more.
Regular Tesshi-e fans might be surprised by this one as the gamer faces a lot less construction and a lot more logic, especially math. The room itself is a lovely, tranquil, traditional Japanese-style space that is so soothing the player might be tempted to just hang around a while. Fortunately the familiar music will soon motivate to get the heck out of dodge, if only to flee before that particular tune becomes permanently imbedded in the psyche. There's very little to complain about with Escape Hotel 4: the puzzles are logical and flow, the navigation is pretty intuitive (except in some hidden spaces), the translations are excellent, and the pixel hunting is at a minimum. The puzzles do seem to rely a bit more heavily on color than is usual, and for those of the "math is hard" school, well, the puzzles might be a little more difficult. Otherwise, this is Tesshi-e room escaping at its finest, a satisfying and filling mid-week break from the everyday. Oh, if only a hotel like this existed in real life!