It Happens Escape Game: Beginner Course
When it comes to picking out your perfect escape from the weekday, what qualities do you look for in a game? Here's my short list—appealing graphics, smooth gameplay, no pixel hunting, logical puzzles, an enjoyable story and lots of fun. A smidgen of challenge is also nice, to make me feel super smart but, on their own, clever puzzles can't beat out clever presentation. Sprinkle in heart-warming characters and charm, and I'll take that any day over something more slick and crafty yet without any heart. Cogito Ergo Sum's latest has all the essentials—plus the sunny personalities of Wan and Nyan—which is why it wins this week's escaping place of honor with It Happens Escape Game: Beginner Course.
As the game starts out, Wan and Nyan are invited to an escape game tournament as "Most Valuable Escapers." Here in this special room, ten hints in the form of mission cards provide guidance and, as the game master states, this course contains many of the elements typical to the "average" escape game. That means usual point-and-click gameplay is in effect: examine everything you can, employ helpful objects, collect clues and decode a few locks until you've made your way out.
Just as you'd expect from something labeled "beginner's course," additional help is offered anywhere you might have doubts. That makes this a great opportunity for anyone who has shied away from the venue after experiences with more abstruse selections. Since you also expect more than one ending from Wan and Nyan's escapades, this has two. Don't skip the start screen and play for both endings because the interaction with Wan and Nyan is this game's greatest allure.
Even though it's disappointingly brief and any inkling of puzzle difficulty is squelched by the tutorial aspects of the game, It Happens Escape Game: Beginner Course is intelligently made. Where the game lacks in challenge or length, it compensates very well with a smart theme and substantially sound design. The smirk at the "Who's Who List" spam mails, and their irrefutable flattery, is characteristic of the Cogito Ergo Sum wit we so love. And really, who can resist Wan and Nyan's charisma? Not me! They can always be counted on for a smile—and that's what escaping is all about.