Tesshi-e is back in a locked room again! In The Happy Escape 11, you are locked up in a music room, with nothing but music instruments and clever puzzles inside. Can you open the mouth of Mr. Hippo? Can you solve the mystery of Mr. Birdie? Can you escape from the room with a happy coin in your hand? It's all up to you to find out.
This game is available in English and Japanese, and you can change the language mid-game by clicking the button right below the save button. The cursor will not change when you are hovering over things you can interact with, but Tesshi-e is not fond of pixel-hunting anyways, so that should not be a great issue.
And there is enough talk for me. Time for a great escape!
Gooooooooooooood morning, you bright, beautiful, bushy-tailed person, you! A new day has dawned on the internets. The kilobytes are chirping. The servers are singing. And the online comments are... well, the less said about those the better. Except here, of course! This week! no1game's little green men are off on vacation, but what we get is still pretty strange. Primera gives you a widdle bed to rest your widdle head. And Esklavos wants you to save the world from a global flooding, but you'll need to do some finagling to pull it off.
It might be a little hypocritical of me to tell you to "rise and shine" today, since I'm writing this while half awake and it took me six tries to spell "hypocritical", but, well, do as I say and not as I do. RISE AND SHINE! You're alive, and it's another beautiful day on this spinning rock, alive with the potential... to play escape games! This week! Esklavos might be able to pull a bunny out of a hat, but a magician probably can't cure the common cold. And a double dose of Vitamin Hana sends you both to the world's smallest butterfly garden, and then to a tiny deserted island for complaining about it.
Everyone knows that the very best get-togethers are always decorated liberally with iconography made up to look like a royal version of your host, so Funkyland's escape game Alice House 2 No.09: Alice's Dinner Party shouldn't come as much surprise. To leave this royal banquet, you'll need to find five items bearing the image of Queen Alice, and as usual, some of these are hidden behind puzzles in a crafty manner. Just click around to explore and interact, and keep an eye out for the items and clues you'll need to crack the puzzles in your way. Though not as chaotic as the "real" Wonderland, Funkyland's Alice House games are all still pleasantly weird while rarely veering into illogical territory, making Alice's Dinner Party an appealing appetizer of a game that'll whet your appetite without filling you up. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go order a bunch of decorations and flatware with my face on them for Thanksgiving.
Some escape games feature elaborate stories, or at least a clearly identified reason as to why you're trapped. And then there's Lu-taru's Tsure Game 6.3, which plops you down in front of some sort of freestanding vanity without so much as a "hi, how are ya," folds its arms, and stares at you expectantly. Though it does seem like the faucet is leaking, so maybe you should do something about that? There's no changing cursor, so click on everything to find out what's interactive and what isn't, especially since you never know where an additional hotspot might be hidden to help you advance. The Japanese-only text isn't necessary to solve the game, though combined with the lack of a changing cursor to find what you may be missing to click on, some players may find the lack of helpful feedback frustrating. If you take your time and think things through, however, Tsure Game 6.3 has some clever puzzles up its sleeve, though... you probably still won't be qualified for any real home repair when you're done.
Pine Studio's Firefighter Escape, also free for iOS and Android, is sadly not a game in which one must escape some sort of murderous, fire-axe-wielding fireman, but rather about helping a fireman find a way out of a fire department building that is currently on fire. Having your place of work go up in flames is probably not a good look for firemen as far as public perception goes... just sayin'. To play, just click to interact and move around the area. The fist in your inventory at the bottom of the screen represents trying force on things, while many items can actually be combined with one another, so experiment! The cursor will change if it passes over something you can click on, and the white text at the top of the screen as you mouse over things will tell you what you're looking at or about to do. As with a lot of Pine Studio titles, Firefighter Escape looks and plays pretty darn good, though is hampered by a tendency to make items you need teeny-tiny or otherwise hard to see, or having some unintuitive logic surrounding their uses. Still, it's a fun few minutes while they last, even if it looks like firefolk could probably do their jobs better without complex puzzle locks on all their equipment.
Doing what I do here, I periodically get invitations from friends to try out those real-life escape game scenarios, but sadly, it's not something I'll ever go for... both because my tendency to get shrill and demanding under pressure would mean ending a friendship as soon as someone fumbled solving a puzzle, and because "Hey, come and play this totally legitimate game where I lock you in a room full of elaborate puzzles," sounds exactly like something a friend would say to enact some sort of bloody Jigsaw-style revenge, and I can't pretend I probably don't have it coming. So let's enjoy these games instead! This week! Amajeto wants you to celebrate the changing seasons without the hayfever. Detarame Factory has one weird but cute wedding for you to attend. And MayMay thinks a little menial labour is in order.
If all the world's a stage, then Rusty Lake is putting on some seriously weird play, or at least playing with your brain. Good thing that's the way we like it! In creepy surreal escape game Cube Escape: Theater, also free for iOS and Android, the lake draws you deeper into the past of its tormented protagonist... this time to a small theater in 1971. As you might expect from a Rusty Lake game, however, things are definitely off, and the more you start to poke around, the weirder things get. There's no changing cursor, so you'll have to click around and explore on your own to figure out what's interactive and what isn't. Unlike some escape games, the Cube Escape series has always operated on its own logic, so don't be afraid to experiment with item combinations or using things in unlikely places if you get stuck.
A call from your mysterious buddy Mr. Y telling you that he's done some more remodeling can only mean one thing... there's somewhere new to try your escaping skills! Tesshi-e's The Storage Shed Escape, as the title may imply, takes place in a storage shed that's a bit less "random junk you should really donate to charity" than "puzzles are the new 'shabby chic' for decorating". After clicking the language button in the bottom right corner to change the text to English if you can't read Japanese, playing the game is as simple as clicking around to explore the room and using the arrows at the edges of the screen to navigate, though the lack of a changing cursor means you'll have to figure out what is interactive and what isn't on your own. With a jazzy soundtrack and a tidy interior that holds a satisfying chunk of puzzles, The Storage Shed Escape blends cryptic clues with rustic style that's worth rolling up your sleeves to solve.
*BEEP* Hello, you've reached Dora. I'm not available right now. I'd like to pretend it's because I'm off doing something glamorous or daring, but, let's be honest, I'm probably either sleeping, busy crying because I remembered Donna Noble's goodbye (again), or got distracted on the way home petting a cat that was just... so soft. Luckily for you, Weekday Escape is scheduled ahead of time. This week! Vitamin Hana calls for "ALL ABOARD", but it ain't gonna be easy. Esklavos proves that witches (some evil wit-ches) just can't be trusted around children. And Sanpoman, well... I think they're feeling a little prickly today.
With two endings and a map so big you need to find and activate teleportation crystals to find your way around it more easily, Robamimi isn't messing around with their escape game Gargoyles. In fact, they warn at the start of the game (the default language is already set to English!), you'll even want to keep a pen and paper nearby to keep track of clues! It's time to put on your Big Kid Pants, in other words, but your reward, if you can successfully explore this calm maze, is a great treasure. Your cursor will change when it passes over something you can click on to interact with, and the arrows that appear at the edges of the screen represent your ability to move around the area, though you should still explore on your own to find everything to click on. If you get stuck, clicking "hint" might give you a nudge in the right direction! Provided it, uh, doesn't wind up making you clutch your pearls. (Hey, I'm not going to judge. Do you know how little Japanese I speak? The pained, polite face the waitress at my favourite sushi place makes when I try to pronounce things may give you a clue. Respect, Robamimi.)
In Funkyland's very royal escape game Alice House 2 No.08: Queen Alice, to leave your perplexing but pretty prison, you'll need to find five items bearing the image of the White Queen... which, as you should know by now after your other outings down the rabbit hole with Funkyland, is going to require solving a puzzle or three. To play, just click to interact with your environment, and keep an eye out for clues to crack the puzzles in your way. You might need an item to proceed, or you might need to figure out how to open a lock that's encoded. Funkyland has always been great at making games that are juuuust complex enough to make you come away from their coffee-break-sized play time feeling satisfied, and Queen Alice is just clever enough to make you appreciate the way Funkyland blends whimsy and logic in equal measure.
If you're there, and I'm here, then that means... congratulations! The ritual was a success. It sleeps once more, dreamless yet restless, even turning, beneath the earth's skin, and we yet live another turn of that infernal star. Nevermind "Dora, what are you talking about?" That's my burden to bear, you sweet, blessedly ignorant human. We've got games to play! This week! Primera's idea of a picnic involves a little more math and a lot less potato salad than you might expect. Vitamin Hana gives you doors, doors everywhere, and not a drop to drink... or... something. And Tototo Room gives you some fresh air and a little wiggle for your time.