When you live in Tesshi-e's world, the best way to cap off a relaxing stroll through the park is to find yourself locked inside a deserted cafe—Miyagi, the famous escape café—searching for cleverly construed ciphers and solving them to gain your freedom. Then, when you title this excursion The Happy Escape 5, you have the added delight of gathering up a ten shiny happy coins, some well hidden but unguarded by mechanisms and others secreted away behind riddle-locked doors. The day is made even better after you find and use the heart-shaped key to the exit door, when the proprietor presents you with a well-earned treat.
You already know this is not your usual café and it's also more complicated in terms of how you'll navigate because it's not a standard square space. Sometimes a grey bar appears at the edge of the screen when you hover your cursor there, then you can turn around or change your angle. Other times a large arrow will appear in the center of the screen so you can move forward along the narrow aisle. Click on an area, such as a table or door, to get a closer look at it. The cursor won't change over active spots or obtainable items, so click everywhere you can think to look or grab an item. Use the "about item" button to inspect your inventory and highlight the item you want to use before clicking where you want to use it. Choose your language (English or Japanese) before you start; messaging when you click prompts you away from fruitless efforts and often gives a hint about what a puzzle needs to be solved.
The convoluted layout can be a bit of a headache to make your way around, yet it does add an extra dimension of challenge and enjoyment for those who don't mind all the backing up and moving forward and turning around. Another disappointment is the lack of an extra ending—not too bad since you're sure to exit with those happy coins or not at all. We're talking Tesshi-e, though, which is a magic word for escape fans because it means good stuff abounds at every turn—wobbly picture frames, peppy music, clever clue presentations, an infectiously upbeat personality and all the usual charming characters. That unique Tesshi-e brand is the best part: you know upon entering this lovely café that you'll be served up a full course of fun.