A decade ago, something shiny and new appeared on television sets across the country. That's right, the forensic procedural is that old. Not hard to believe since nowadays the formula is everywhere. Turn on a channel and you might find geeks picking up tiny pieces of evidence, the primal scream of Roger Daltry, or David Caruso douching it up all over the screen. With this kind of viral spread it was inevitable that the formula would eventually creep into every aspect of our lives, including the basic room escape. Anonymous is that type of escape, one that actually requires both the collection of evidence and some serious deductive reasoning to find your way out of yet another locked room. No sunglasses required.
Designed by HILG, Anonymous begins when you, the hero of our little story, enter a secure room in the police station where you work. Unfortunately, seconds later, you remember that the code has changed and you don't know what the new one is! Now you have to search the room for clues as to who your co-workers are, who changed the code, and what the new code is so that you can get out in time for dinner. Let's call that pulling a Caruso, shall we?
Navigation through the room can be a little clunky, involving both arrows at the sides and bottom of the screen as well as clicking on random items for close ups. The changing views, both angled and head on can be a little confusing at first, but it's not exactly a large room so eventually you'll get the hang of it. Pick up everything that you can, and be careful to examine everything you pick up for clues. Most items will not be used directly, but will enable you to solve the central mystery.
Unfortunately, there are a few flaws in the game. A changing cursor would have been nice to highlight the hotspots, so be prepared for some pixel hunting. Some of the puzzles are color based, making them difficult for the color blind. And although there is an English translation for the game, finding it can be a bit of... well, a mystery. After the introduction (in both Japanese and English), click on the left (yellow) button to bring up the system menu, which will enable you to turn on the English version, and even a hint feature. Feel free to also use it to mute the music, which frankly should die in a hail of gunfire on a Miami street corner. On the plus side, HILG gives the gamer a nice save feature, allowing you to walk away and come back later, refreshed and lightly tanned, to pick up where you left off.
Despite the flaws Anonymous is quite a fun challenge, involving not only the basics of room escaping fun; finding items, mysterious clues, headbanging puzzles, but with an interesting twist involving deductive reasoning and co-workers who discourteously leave food to rot in their lockers (ewww!). So put on some classic Who, slip on a pair of ray-bans, make a few disastrously bad puns, and get escaping!