So another week has passed, another seven days have just whooshed into nonexistence, a mere memory that's now fading from thought even as we speak. Yet no need to harsh that chill. It's all good because we have another episode of Hump Day Hidden Object. Oh wait. That's not a thing apparently. I meant: Welcome back to Midweek Metroidvania. Yes! Awesome. What? No? Also not a thing? Well, shoot, someone going to help a girl out here? Because I've got a room full of folks waiting to hear what's happening and... Ah! Yes, this is just in. Apparently we've had a bit of a mix-up in the production room but all is well and good now, as they say. Yes, hello folks! Welcome back to another wonderful and not at all unplanned episode of the world's only, quite spectacular spectacle—yes, it is Weekday Escape, everyone! Can I get a round of applause? Oh, no, you're just staring at me, probably wondering what I'm getting on about. Alright then. Here it is: Three very fun escape games from the very talented game designing talents of FunkyLand and No1Game. I do hope you enjoy and please come around next week for more...
When we last left our heroine, she had just finished a fruitless search of half the park, looking for her mother's expensive pendant that was lost when she snuck it out to wear. No in no1game's point-and-click puzzle game Find the Escape-Men Part 148: In the Park Part 2, you'll need to search the rest of the area and hopefully find the pendant before dark, when you'll get in trouble for sure!... oh, and you'll need to find the ten hidden green Escape-Men too, of course! Just click to interact and move around the map, and click the question mark beneath items you're carrying to view and interact with them up close. As with the first half of this game, some of the places you'll see on the map just won't be available, though this time it's because they've already been searched. It goes without saying that finding the pendant is going to involve more than simply asking around or looking under playground equipment, and there's a variety of puzzles both logical and strange, often made even stranger by the lack of a changing cursor, so sometimes being stuck is less about not knowing what to do and more a matter of something being hidden in an odd place. Still, no matter who you are or where you come from, we've all been in this situation before... messing up as a kid, especially when you were doing something you know you weren't supposed to, and trying to fix it before anyone finds out, is a rite of passage. Though... typically for most of us it involves less gold teeth, nets, and tiny green dudes. At least, I hope.
[Note: Please be warned that these games contain content some may find disturbing.]
Things aren't what they seem in Rusty Lake's deceptively serene and surreal escape game Cube Escape: Seasons, also free for iOS and Android, and the start of a new series alongside Cube Escape: The Lake. In Seasons, you'll take a trip through your memories in a small, quiet house that holds a lot more secrets than you expect. In The Lake, the water is calm outside your little fishing hut, which doesn't seem to have very much in it apart from some old cabinets, a fishing rod... and a knife. Click around to interact and pick things up, though be warned that the cursor won't change if it passes over something you can use, so you'll need to be diligent. Items with a magnifying glass in your inventory can be clicked to view close up, while others can be used where you like by clicking them once to pick them up, and then again wherever you want to try to use them. Some items can be used more than once... occasionally in the same fashion. The small arrows at the edges of the screen will let you move and look around the room, and the white arrows on the right side of the screen will let you scroll up and down through your inventory. You may want to play Seasons first, as there's something you can find (and make a note of) there that will change the ending of The Lake.
Not everything is about you, y'know. In Vitamin Hana's cute, micro-sized escape game Free the Birds, you're actually trying to help some feathered friends fly free from f... hm. No word for "cage" that starts with an "F". Regardless of my foiled alliteration streak, you'll need to hunt around the area for a few items to crack codes and solve puzzles. There's no changing cursor for interactive objects, so you'll want to click around everywhere... not that it's that big of an area to search. Free the Birds is very much a mini-sized escape game, with an emphasis on finding codes and plunking them into the right places, so players looking for something more filling may not find it enough of a challenge. If what you want is something light and fun with a sweet objective, however, Free the Birds is more proof Vitamin Hana games can always be counted on for a smile.
Well, would you look at that! It seems the escape game fairy has been here again. Maybe you're saying to yourself, "Uh, escape game fairy?" It's true, though. The ol' EGF as I like to call her is as real as anything. Oh now, lose that skeptical scowl. It's not a flattering look (although, honestly, if anyone can get away with it, you can). But since you want proof, I'll give it to you: These three lovely creations from FunkyLand, Vitamin Hana and Primera. You need just spend a few moments poking around a whimsy-lush kitchen, viewing the starry sky from a puzzle-filled bedroom, or gathering colorful marbles in a single-scened room and you'll be convinced—the escape game fairy is truly real! You don't want to hurt her feelings and scare her away by doubting, do you? Like the magic that makes Santa's reindeer fly, you only have to believe...
Things are pretty hoity toity in Pine Studio's latest escape game King's Escape, also free for iOS and Android, where you find yourself locked into a very fancy schmancy room indeed. I mean... regular people don't just have pudding sitting right out there whenever they want it, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't actually be allowed to touch any of this future. You, though, you get to touch whatever you want by clicking around to explore. The cursor will change and the game will display text at the top of the screen whenever you can interact with something, while you can try to combine items in your inventory by clicking on first one, and then the other. Despite its refined appearance, there's a fair amount of weirdness in this escape game, with some MacGyvery when it comes to your inventory and creative (though strange) puzzles and mechanisms hidden everywhere. It's not always clear exactly what you're supposed to be doing, though it definitely earns points for inventiveness. One thing's for sure, when you do finally escape the room after the state you leave it in, you're probably not going to be welcomed back!
King's Escape (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
Get King's Escape
no1game expects you to jump through a few hoops for fashion in Tailor, where the only way to escape is through the liberal use of a sewing machine. To play, just use the transparent black bars at the edges of the screen to move around the room, and click on things to interact. There's no changing cursor, as usual with no1game's titles, so leave no stone unturned as you hunt for the items you'll need to solve problems. To view an item up close, click the little rectangular button beneath its icon in your inventory at the top of the screen, and drag it anywhere you'd like to try using it. Tailor is actually a little fiddly about how it accepts this, requiring some items to be used in juuuuust the right place. It's a clunky little bit of pickiness, but not one that detracts too much from the overall experience... which, by the way, I feel confident in saying, is probably exactly like being on Project Runway. You'll practically be a fashion maven once you sew your way out of this one! Rarity would approve, darling.
RoseKey's escape game Pass*Word is all about flowers, stars, and alarming musical flourishes as you try to find your way out of a cute room with a locked door and some cryptic decor. To play, just click on things around the room... your cursor will change when you can interact with something, and arrows will pop up when you mouse over the left and right sides of the screen so you can move around the room. To view items you're carrying up close, click what you want to peep at, then click the "about item" button. Pass*Word is on the short side, and probably a little simple as well, with most of the clues and their corresponding puzzles fairly obvious. It feels more like a warmup than anything else, and a bit of extra fleshing out would have made it a real winner. As it is, if you're looking for an escape game you can play before you've rubbed all the sleepies from your eyes, along with some musical riffs that will shock you awake if you, oh, were playing unaware with your volume all the way up, Pass*Word is a good choice.
So. Another week has passed. A lot has happened this week, too. But that's not what we're here to talk about, are we? Although, if I'm going to be honest, I'm going to say I've missed you since our last get together. I sometimes wonder what you're doing, where you've been, if you're, for whatever reason, you know, having fun without me? Eh, not that I'm checking up on you or anything but I noticed that you've been a little quiet lately. Let's talk about these escape games then, ya? Before things get too awkward with silent pauses and all that. Luckily for us escape-the-room aficionados, production of escape games has been bustling this spring. It's more than possible you haven't even finished playing the past week's worth that were reviewed here on JIG. Be that as it may be, tell me what you think of these next three games, chosen from Hottategoya, MayMay and No1Game...
Vitamin Hana serves up an escape with amenities in Terrace View, and continues their tradition of making cute, simple-seeming games that offer more than meets the eye. There isn't much around you... a locked door, a painting, a TV, and a few pieces of furniture that are all locked up tight with various coded puzzles. There's no changing cursor to help you see what you can interact with, but there's also not really any pixel hunting to make that a problem... just a whole bunch of cryptic clues for a room with enough puzzle locks to belong in an early Resident Evil game. It won't take you long to play, but it also doesn't feel like it's too short either, the proverbial juuuuuust right with a few puzzles that'll kick your brain into gear and require you to connect the dots without going overboard on difficulty. Sometimes you want something heavy and perplexing, and sometimes you want something light, fun, and clever, and Terrace View fits the latter perfectly well.
In no1game's mouthful of a title Find the Escape-Men Part 147: At the Park Part 1, you're a dirty rotten thief... or, well, at least a girl who can't resist sneaking her mom's expensive pendant to wear while she's out at the park. No blood no foul, right? At least not until you're ready to head home and you realize it's missing! Now you have to search the whole place (or at least the places you've been while you wore the necklace, since some locations are mysteriously unavailable, and of course find the iconic ten little green men hidden throughout the park along the way. Just click to interact, and make sure you hunt everywhere, since no changing cursor means you'll need to shake, scrounge, and dig wherever you can. While it's annoying to have more than half of the available map locations locked off for (presumably) part two, At the Park Part 1 is still a seriously cute and quirky game. It has a tendency to make you go back and forth between locations with indication something has changed, though it ups the weird factor considerably over some previous installments in largely good ways. Needless to say, as indicated by the title, it ends with a big, fat, "to be continued", so you'll have to wait for the conclusion another day, but for now, there's searching to be done!
So it has happened again, has it? You have ended up trapped in a strange room. Obvious methods to escape from this room elude you. No keys, crowbars or climbing out the window will work. On hand instead: various puzzles to be solved, done by searching the room for essential objects and various clues, using your ingenuity to decipher the riddles throughout. What's that you ask? Why not just break down the door with your brute force? Because this door is not simply locked, it's guarded by a secret code that, should you fail, threatens to dismantle the entire room—you right along with it. Which is just one of the reasons Gam.eBB's mobile game Room Escape [Secret Code] is such a kick to play!
The horse in no1game's Bored White Horse is actually a very special horse since he's the prince's noble steed, and when he hears that the prince has finally managed to slip away from his bodyguards, the horse decides to go to him for adventure... though he'll need your help escaping from the stables first... no small task considering the horse's handlers think so highly of his cognitive abilities that you'll have to bypass multiple locks and puzzles from within to get out. To play, just click to interact, though your cursor won't change when it passes over something useable, so you'll need to be diligent in your exploring. Bored White Horse isn't a particularly long game, or even a difficult one, though some of its puzzles are tricky enough that you'll need to really examine them in order to figure out the solution. It's a light, whimsical treat for escape fans who want to engage their brains without breaking them, and reunite two dear friends in the process.
TomaTea is known for one thing... serene colour palettes. And mellow instrumental soundtracks. And "I have no clue how to solve this!" And... okay, so for a lot of things, basically. Let's just say they make great escape games and move on to talking about Spring Celebration, which combines puzzles and pastels all in one pretty package. To play, just watch for the tip of your cursor to glow as it passes over things you can interact with, and carefully examine your environment for sneaky hidden clues you'll need to crack the puzzles on the various locks. Don't let the lute-ish soundtrack fool you... there're no castles and courts here, but there are a whole lot of sunny Easter-themed decorations, as if any of us needed a specific date as incentive to bite the ears off a chocolate bunny. Some objects you may find a little fiddly or unintuitive to interact with, as some of them have extra functions that aren't immediately apparent unless you click on them in a certain location, and you might likewise find yourself stymied at a point that doesn't make it obvious you need to drag something rather than merely click it. Still, TomaTea's talent for crafty puzzles whose clues take a little puzzling themselves is in fine form here, and apart from a few mildly awkward implementations, they offer a great variety in difficulty and concept, and the sweet presentation is just the cherry on top. If you love escape games that seem to invite you to relax even as they make you think, TomaTea's Spring Celebration is sunny and satisfying despite a few bumps along the way.
Contrary to a rumor started around the JIG office espresso machine, I do not spend all my evenings huddled up around the blue-white illumination of my laptop, empty take-out boxes strewn along the counter and a meowing band of cats my only company. I mean, alright, maybe in theory it's possible that could have happened. In the realm of possibilities, anything could be possible yet it's best to remember: Rumors spread rapidly on social networks. Even if it sounds like a good idea or goes viral, getting bunches of likes, snoop around a bit before assuming its verity. But shoot, I won't get all rhetorical with ya when there are escape games waiting to be played. Since there's also much to be said for ignoring cynicism and letting your heart wear a great big smile for all the world to see. Having some fun and playing games always makes sense, and this Weekday Escape game trio is an actual thing happening right now...