Arendel


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Rating: 3.1/5 (84 votes)
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Arendel

DoraThe whole premise behind Selfdefiant's escape game Arendel is that you and your friends thought it was a swell idea to go inside an abandoned asylum late at night, so I'm not entirely convinced you didn't deserve it (or at least a Darwin Award) when the doors slammed shut and trapped you inside. Now you're surrounded by a bunch of glowy purple orbs and enough locked doors with colour-coded keyholes to make me think you've been captured by an Umbrella Corporation villain, so if you want to find your way out, it's time to get to puzzle solving. Don't mind the skeleton hands, they're here to help. To play, just click to interact when your cursor changes, and deposit items in your inventory at the bottom of the screen to pick them up, or click an icon again to hold an item for use. Once you have something to hold them in, the purple orbs can be gathered to purchase things from the shadowy figure at the front desk... just, uh... maybe don't sign any contracts it offers you. Don't mind the timer... it's just there to keep track of how long it takes you to find a way out.

ArendelSelfdefiant is easily one of the most prolific escape game developers out there, with often multiple game releases in a week, and the main reason they aren't featured here more often, despite frequent requests and submission, is that they typically feel a little rough around the edges. Arendel's user interface is a bit clunky, with navigation feeling unnecessarily circuitous, and items tend to blend too well into the frequently gloomy backgrounds. It is, on the other hand, a really ambitious game, with a huge map, a great atmosphere, and a solid balance of item usage versus puzzle solving. Two of the items you can purchase from ye olde orb merchant are actually optional and help streamline finding your way around a little, but you'll need one of them to find your way out for good. Don't expect a story or much fanfare around the ending, but despite its bumpy spots, Arendel is well worth a look if you're already a fan of the developer's, or have been wanting to see what all the fuss is about. And for goodness' sake, take it as a cautionary tale. "I went into this dark abandoned place for no good reason" is how approximately 99.9% of those torn, faded, desperately scrawled notes you find in horror games begin, right after the ones about the veracity of baked goods.

Play Arendel

Walkthrough Guide


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Walkthrough

Getting the sacred jar (for collecting orbs)

  1. Go up. Get the sponge from the door that's ajar on the left.

  2. Go left. Wet the sponge in the mop bucket. Get the crowbar from the left side of the stage.

  3. Go right, up, and left. You should be in a room with old TVs piled on a table. Use the crowbar on the grating on the right; get the green key.

  4. Go right, down, and right. Open the doors using the green key.

  5. Use the wet sponge on the mirror; note the code.

    9966

  6. Go left and down, so you're back at the start. Use the code from the mirror to open the box on the left. Get the silver key.

  7. Go up three times; open the doors with the silver key.

  8. Go up and right. You should be in a room with two armchairs and a pile of rubble. Get the sledgehammer from the window ledge between the two armchairs.

  9. Go left, down, and left, to the bricked-up fireplace. Use the sledgehammer on the fireplace and get the sacred jar.

Getting the map

Collect the orbs from the room you're in, then go right, down, and down, collecting orbs on the way. This should get you to the room with the shopkeeper with at least 25 orbs on your person. Click the shop (the counter at the back of the room), then click the map to buy it.

Woo-hoo, a map!

From here on out, I'll refer to rooms by their letter on the map. If you're lost, just click on your map; you're in the room with the big red dot.

I expect you to collect orbs as you go.

A

Use the crowbar on the post in the middle of the room; get the white gem.

B

Click the ashtray behind the chair near the stage. Get the matches.

D

Flip the lever on the right wall. Note that there is something in the sink drain, but the crowbar is too big to remove the cover. Also note the letters on the cabinet around the mirror: "buy aet"? I see an anagram in your future...

F

Note the code on the door frame.

34 7 19

E

Flip the lever on the right wall.

I

Flip the lever. Note the numbers above the fireplace.

Top = 1, left = 3, right = 4, bottom = 2

O

Note the panel on the right wall with four colorful dials.

N

Click the table and note the colorful chips. Count the number of chips of each color.

6 blue, 7 red, 9 green, 11 yellow.

M

Light the candle in the window and get the purple key. Flip the lever to the right of the window.

O again

Use the colored chips code to open the panel on the wall; get the red key.

The top dial is yellow; click it 11 times. The next dial is green; click it 9 times. The next dial is blue; click 6 times. The bottom dial is red; click it 7 times. Click the switch at the bottom when you're done.

K (use purple key)

Click the panel on the right wall. Use the code from the doorframe in F to open the combination lock.

Left 34, right 7, left 19.

Get the flashlight.

G (use red key)

Note the word "DECAF" on the wall. Get the screwdriver from the radiator under the window on the right.

H

Flip the lever on the wall on the right. Use the clue from G combined with the clue on the piano to play the keys in the right order; get the blue gem.

The piano says "OPAIN", which is an anagram of "piano". What is "decaf" an anagram of? Click the piano and play FACED.

D again

Use the screwdriver on the drain to get the yellow gem.

C

While you're in the vicinity, you should now have enough orbs to purchase the magic crystal. This lets you click rooms on the map to go to them. (You can only use this to visit rooms you've already visited the "hard way".)

L

click the basket on the wall to the left of the window. Use the code from above the fireplace in I to get the pink gem.

Click the ends of the cross in this order: top, bottom, left, right.

There should be a glowing yellow star in the middle of the floor; if there isn't, go check if you missed a lever somewhere. Click the star to go to Q.

Q

Use the flashlight to find the gold key (check the bottom left corner).

S (use gold key)

Nothing here except some orbs.

T

Check the medicine cabinet in the back corner. Move the prescription bottles to find the green gem.

R

Check the drawers; the far left one has the purple gem.

U

Click the box on the nightstand to the left of the bed. Figure out the correct anagram of the code from D and use it to open the box.

BEAUTY

Get the red gem.

C

If you don't have at least 50 orbs at this point, go back and collect some more. Buy the magic book from the shop. Put your gems into the cover of the book (arrangement doesn't matter).Open the book and flip through it until you find the rusty key.

Exiting

Go to A and go down. Use the rusty key to open the door. You're outta there!

Guide to item locations

Matches

B

Screwdriver

G

Flashlight

K

Levers

D, E, I, M, H

Gems

White = A
Yellow = D
Blue = H
Pink = L
Green = T
Purple = R
Red = U

21 Comments

KKonShinobu Author Profile Page August 13, 2014 1:11 PM

Gameplay is a little wonky, the but graphics make it easy to forgive. I would have kept playing if not for collecting orbs. It just got tedious and too annoying enough to keep up. Especially since I got the orb container late in the game, I didn't care to go back to every single room I've been before and wave my mouse across the screen about 50 times over. My attention span was wearing too thinly.

A decent game though. I do enjoy how there is a large space to cover, which is common in a majority of Selfdefiant's games.

Score: 1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
jason9045 Author Profile Page August 13, 2014 4:34 PM

Pretty much everything here is common in a majority of Selfdefiant's games, which is to say he makes about four different games over and over. The Asylum-themed game is one of them, with the same puzzles, same mechanics, same everything. About the only thing that really changes is he does keep the selection of HDR "ruin porn" photos fresh. I expected to see one of his games featured here about when I expected to see one of the Ainars games here.

It seems like the sheer volume of bug-free games he produces - which is impressive, no doubt - has netted him a large number of fans. I'm just not one of them, clearly, and I just think it's odd to see this game (rather than, say, the first time he made it a couple of years ago and called it Asylum) shared on JIG.

Score: 2 (2 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
jason9045 Author Profile Page August 13, 2014 10:17 PM

What good's that imperial throne, then? :)

Score: 2 (2 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

I can be an escape game snob with the best of them, but sometimes, SelfDefiant just hits the spot. (Haven't played this one yet... stoopid work.)

Score: 2 (2 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Although I have a soft spot for some of his game series (not this one, though), I tend to agree with jason9045: Selfdefiant's mass production does not belong on JIG - for the same reasons that taste and quality should not be confused. He is obviously a very clever game designer and could, given time, probably make some very good games indeed. But games like Arendel are for fans only.

Score: -1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

I felt like I was playing a remake of a rerun of the same game he made some four years ago. The original was mediocre at best so version 589 is really getting stale.

Score: 1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

"Pretty much everything here is common in a majority of Selfdefiant's games"

Well, truth be told, you could say that about most of the free escape game designers featured here. Coming up with new stuff every time takes a lot of effort, and there are only so many variations on the "find object/clue here, use it there" theme until you start to repeat yourself or copy others. That's why games like the Submachines, Samorost etc. come out once in a blue moon.

"ruin porn"

That cracked me up!

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selfdefiant007 Author Profile Page August 14, 2014 5:58 PM

Thank you for you comments and criticisms. I have to say that it's nice to see one of my games on here. I do make a lot of games, many of them are similar in nature. It's no secret. The reason for this is quite simple. I make games that I feel good about making. When I stray from what I desire it always seems to backfire. I made changes once out of concern that people didn't like something a certain way. It ended up being worse, not only did I go against my desires, I tried pleasing or appeasing others. In my eyes it was wrong. When you become a game developer and have so many choices to make all I can hope is that you follow your heart and own desires, not someone else. I am happy with my games, millions of people play them. If someone doesn't like that one feels or seems like another, they don't have to play it. Just let me say that I come up with some pretty cool games and they might miss out on them, it's a shame. All that really matters at the end of the day is if you are happy with the decisions that you make, and you better believe that I am. Thank you!

Score: 3 (3 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

walkthrough coming soon? :)

Score: 1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

I enjoyed the game. Even if it was formulaic, that doesn't mean that a decent example of such a game doesn't belong on a site like this, if just once in a while. There's more than one way to skin an escape-the-room-game cat and we have to be reminded of the different styles once in a while. Don't forget that some of our favorite escape game authors use a similar formula time and again. Games, like all other things, are a matter of taste, and if a series or author is popular in some circles it's a good idea to view examples from time to time in other circles.

That all said: my review on this game would be that while the graphics are absolutely stunning, the interface (particularly the puzzles and collecting) seem like less of intrinsic parts of the game and more like excuses to make the gorgeous graphics. I feel like a game with a smaller map and more interaction/smarter puzzles within all that detail may be more satisfying.

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Escape games aren't my usual milieu, but I figured I'd give it a shot. Alas, I spent ten minutes clicking around and getting nowhere; I went into the abandoned barroom (I think it's a barroom? Why does an asylum even have a bar?) three times before I even noticed that the

tiny ashtray in the middle of the room

was something you could click on. Pretty, yes, but just way more "hunt the pixel" than I have the energy for.

Score: 1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Walkthrough

Getting the sacred jar (for collecting orbs)

  1. Go up. Get the sponge from the door that's ajar on the left.

  2. Go left. Wet the sponge in the mop bucket. Get the crowbar from the left side of the stage.

  3. Go right, up, and left. You should be in a room with old TVs piled on a table. Use the crowbar on the grating on the right; get the green key.

  4. Go right, down, and right. Open the doors using the green key.

  5. Use the wet sponge on the mirror; note the code.

    9966

  6. Go left and down, so you're back at the start. Use the code from the mirror to open the box on the left. Get the silver key.

  7. Go up three times; open the doors with the silver key.

  8. Go up and right. You should be in a room with two armchairs and a pile of rubble. Get the sledgehammer from the window ledge between the two armchairs.

  9. Go left, down, and left, to the bricked-up fireplace. Use the sledgehammer on the fireplace and get the sacred jar.

Getting the map

Collect the orbs from the room you're in, then go right, down, and down, collecting orbs on the way. This should get you to the room with the shopkeeper with at least 25 orbs on your person. Click the shop (the counter at the back of the room), then click the map to buy it.

Woo-hoo, a map!

From here on out, I'll refer to rooms by their letter on the map. If you're lost, just click on your map; you're in the room with the big red dot.

I expect you to collect orbs as you go.

A

Use the crowbar on the post in the middle of the room; get the white gem.

B

Click the ashtray behind the chair near the stage. Get the matches.

D

Flip the lever on the right wall. Note that there is something in the sink drain, but the crowbar is too big to remove the cover. Also note the letters on the cabinet around the mirror: "buy aet"? I see an anagram in your future...

F

Note the code on the door frame.

34 7 19

E

Flip the lever on the right wall.

I

Flip the lever. Note the numbers above the fireplace.

Top = 1, left = 3, right = 4, bottom = 2

O

Note the panel on the right wall with four colorful dials.

N

Click the table and note the colorful chips. Count the number of chips of each color.

6 blue, 7 red, 9 green, 11 yellow.

M

Light the candle in the window and get the purple key. Flip the lever to the right of the window.

O again

Use the colored chips code to open the panel on the wall; get the red key.

The top dial is yellow; click it 11 times. The next dial is green; click it 9 times. The next dial is blue; click 6 times. The bottom dial is red; click it 7 times. Click the switch at the bottom when you're done.

K (use purple key)

Click the panel on the right wall. Use the code from the doorframe in F to open the combination lock.

Left 34, right 7, left 19.

Get the flashlight.

G (use red key)

Note the word "DECAF" on the wall. Get the screwdriver from the radiator under the window on the right.

H

Flip the lever on the wall on the right. Use the clue from G combined with the clue on the piano to play the keys in the right order; get the blue gem.

The piano says "OPAIN", which is an anagram of "piano". What is "decaf" an anagram of? Click the piano and play FACED.

D again

Use the screwdriver on the drain to get the yellow gem.

C

While you're in the vicinity, you should now have enough orbs to purchase the magic crystal. This lets you click rooms on the map to go to them. (You can only use this to visit rooms you've already visited the "hard way".)

L

click the basket on the wall to the left of the window. Use the code from above the fireplace in I to get the pink gem.

Click the ends of the cross in this order: top, bottom, left, right.

There should be a glowing yellow star in the middle of the floor; if there isn't, go check if you missed a lever somewhere. Click the star to go to Q.

Q

Use the flashlight to find the gold key (check the bottom left corner).

S (use gold key)

Nothing here except some orbs.

T

Check the medicine cabinet in the back corner. Move the prescription bottles to find the green gem.

R

Check the drawers; the far left one has the purple gem.

U

Click the box on the nightstand to the left of the bed. Figure out the correct anagram of the code from D and use it to open the box.

BEAUTY

Get the red gem.

C

If you don't have at least 50 orbs at this point, go back and collect some more. Buy the magic book from the shop. Put your gems into the cover of the book (arrangement doesn't matter).Open the book and flip through it until you find the rusty key.

Exiting

Go to A and go down. Use the rusty key to open the door. You're outta there!

Guide to item locations

Matches

B

Screwdriver

G

Flashlight

K

Levers

D, E, I, M, H

Gems

White = A
Yellow = D
Blue = H
Pink = L
Green = T
Purple = R
Red = U

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iLLuSioN_MooN Author Profile Page August 15, 2014 4:55 AM

"...right after the ones about the veracity of baked goods."

Is that Portal reference I detected there? Hahaha.

About the game, I rather like the design, though I'm not so fond of the gameplay itself. My eyes are not that good for pixel hunting. I remember playing one of his game once. The atmosphere and such are good, but it took me so long to finish because I can't find things. Also The map is unbelievably huge! Probably the biggest escape type game's map I have ever played. I'm not saying that it's a bad thing though.

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For the record, I don't think SelfDefiant's games are any more repetitive or pixel-hunty than, say, the Escape Men games. I would certainly welcome an occasional SD game in Weekday Escape.

Score: 3 (3 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

i'm stuck right at the beginning

it says to go up and get the sponge at the ajar door on the left. nothing is there on any door. what am I doing wrong?"

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Reka Author Profile Page August 15, 2014 11:24 PM replied to Paul

Sorry, Paul, I guess I wasn't as clear as I should've been.

The sponge isn't *on* the door, it's on the floor in the doorway. I.e. If you were to walk through that door, you'd trip right over the sponge.

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Snarfhead Author Profile Page August 17, 2014 9:10 AM

I really enjoy selfdefiant's games, especially the asylum-sort games. The atmosphere created by the scenes + music + lighting is very cool. I don't think that they're really very pixel-hunty - the items are there and visible, but you have to look closely (there's a difference). It creates a sense of picking through the rubble of an old ruin to find things you can use. Very well done, I believe.

But it's my opinion, and we're all entitled. What I don't understand are the negative responses for them being similar to each other. Especially saying that they "don't belong on JIG" seems harsh given the rest of the offerings. I can't tell you how many green men (just played the 115th game) or pieces of fruit/candy I've looked for, wobbly pictures I've clicked, hidden chicks I've found, etc. - and enjoyed it all! Thanks JIG for all of those - and for selfdefiant's stuff too!

Score: 1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

@Selfdefiant, Snarfhead & others:
I regret that my earlier comment may have seemed arrogant and, above all, disrespectful of SD's work. That was not at all my intention; particularly not that anyone should feel "guilty" for enjoying his games. I for one find his "Escape the Castle" kind of games quite amusing and entertaining in an offkey and unpretentious sort of way. And his Asylum-games are of course not bad at all, what with all their athmosphere and spookiness.

But how do these games compare to M.Skutnik/Neutral/Kotorinosu and many others? My point was just that JIG - in my mind - is the place to go for really high quality games (an unscientific expression, I admit). For those who want more "bread and butter", there are plenty other sites available (dare I mention EG24). And I don't see the problem with that.

Thus the "don't belong on JIG" remark. For me, it's just an appreciation of JIG as a place where real quality matters; I don't want it to become a place pumping out ENA-style mass production. And again, I'm sorry for the impression of disregard for SD's games. Some of his work actually DOES belong here.

Score: -1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

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