Escape from the Bungalow
In the midst of a very hot summer, the idea of vacationing in a whimsically furnished bungalow in the woods is an irresistible invitation to relax and unwind. Or so you would think. Yet in the travel scheme of Tesshi-e, all doors are to be looked at suspiciously—the door to this particular bungalow is no different. Yep. Locked! With no key in sight. Looks like it's time to Escape from the Bungalow! Before you can take off your shoes and kick back, you need to fix wobbly pictures, ask Mr. Birdy for clues, put objects to use and solve codes in an escape-the-room game that's bursting with Tesshi-e's ineffable charm.
Although there is no cursor change to signal hotspots, navigation is smooth and easy. Click the corners of the screen to change your view and click on objects, or edges of furnishings, to get a closer look at that area. Any item you pick up can be examined through the "About Item" button and used by highlighting it before clicking where you want to use it, including on other inventory items. Puzzles vary from using objects to figuring out sequences and number codes. The subtitles as you explore (choose either English or Japanese before starting) will also help point you in the right direction. Should you need to step away for a mini-break from this escaping vacation, just utilize the save feature in the "Function" menu; this also comes in handy as you look for both endings, with and without a happy coin.
Once again delving into the charm of Tesshi-e's design is part of the delight in playing Escape from the Bungalow. The puzzles are the typical Tesshi-e fare yet, in this case, that's not a disappointment. Those familiar with this game designer's style of trickery will feel right at home and shouldn't be stumped...not for too long anyways. But there is trickery indeed and this little escape can be challenging, especially with some clues delivered in lightening speed, requiring quick note taking—and re-taking. With such beautiful surroundings, complete with music resembling a Kingdom Hearts medley, there is no sense of rush thus less frustration as you grapple with puzzles. For this reason, although getting out is the goal, the journey out is as much fun as the destination.