Imagine you're given the choice of two gifts: one is a large box wrapped with a bow and the other is a small key. Would your choice be automatic or would you be tempted to find out where that key leads? Keys are intriguing, aren't they? They promise to open doors or unlock treasures, to start engines or present answers. That's why we're excited when MyGames888 offers us a mere 3 Small Keys; we're already gearing up for the joy of exploration and discovery that makes playing an escape game so satisfying.
To begin, you're alone in a curious room, left to investigate the bare design and figure out what to do first. Point and click to navigate, following arrows on the sides of the screen to change direction. Finding a few clues helps you open a lock; finding keys and puzzling out their use will open even more. The inventory is standard—click objects to pick them up then highlight to use or doubleclick to examine in more detail. You'll encounter some clever puzzles and being very observant plays a big part in getting out.
As seen before in 3 Doors, when it comes to constructing imaginative and interesting escape games, MyGames888 has a distinct talent. Besides the lack of a changing cursor, I have little to criticize about 3 Small Keys—it was just too much of a pleasure to play. In fact, this might be a case where the additional help of cursor hints would take away from the mood and tone. No visual indicators for guidance can lead to frustration but it also gives potency to the feeling that you're here in this room, stuck, searching every inch for the means to escape!
Exploring this austere, quiet environment, free from any narrative, with little more than the echo of flowing water to fill the wide space, nothing to tell you why you're here or how you're going to leave, renders the atmosphere both peaceful and oppressive. It's an atmosphere that works extremely well in an escape game and makes the whole experience, which is disappointingly short, seem more grand. If 3 Small Keys was three times the size, we'd not hesitate to shower it in high acclaim, so let's enjoy this gift of an escape, no matter how small it is.