Apartment House Escape
Apartment House Escape is a bit...misnamed. Once you start playing you will realize that you are, in fact, attempting to break in rather than break out, a change of pace from the usual mid-week room escape. Welcome to Weekday Escape!
So basically you are trying to make your way into this lovely, terraced, gated apartment complex. Why? It's never actually stated. Instead you get some pretty bird's eye views of the complex from various angles (including close ups) and you must use the objects and clues that you find to solve your way into the place. Presuming, of course, that you can figure out precisely where you are trying to get in in the first place. Here's a hint: it's not the front door. So Apartment House Escape plays less like an escape and more like Breaking and Entering 101, if in real life common burglary involved lots of keys, color puzzles, logic puzzles, and a wicked rotating jigsaw. Well, being as I am completely law abiding, maybe it does. I certainly wouldn't know. Moving on...
So you begin at the beginning, the front of the complex where the parking lot is. You will discover that you can examine various areas of the terraces, yards, and even cars in the parking lot in close up simply by clicking on them. The right and left navigation arrows at the bottom of the screen actually move you around the outside of the complex, rather than turning you right or left, allowing you to view the place from both sides and the back. Nice looking place, really, and probably way out of my budget range. No wonder a person might want to break in.
Part of the fun of Apartment House Escape is the reverse of the usual escaping conventions, i.e. breaking in instead of breaking out. Even better is the nice mix of use of found objects tied up with some wicked fun (and occasionally just wicked) puzzles, a lot of them heavily color-based. It's a little disorienting to use the standard looking controls to navigate and find yourself moving in what would seem like a non-intuitive direction, using a right arrow to move to the side rather than turning 90 degrees away from the building.
The biggest flaw would not be the navigation system, though, as you get used to it pretty quickly. It is the unfortunate use of extremely wide clickable areas combined with a lack of a changing cursor, making it difficult at first to determine where you can click for the close-ups that you will need to complete the puzzles. A close up of a second floor terrace, for example, can be gotten to by clicking on that terrace, or below that terrace, or above that terrace, or even what looks like several feet to the right of that terrace, which can cause some confusion at first. The simplistic percussive music loop is also very short and can get extremely annoying extremely quickly. Fortunately there's a mute button. I suggest using it immediately. Inventory control also takes a bit of getting used to as well, since you have to click and drag items from the inventory rather than the usual highlight and click an area usually seen in a more standard room escape.
Despite the pixel hunting and the overly large clickable areas, Apartment House Escape is still a lot of escaping fun. Or breaking and entering fun. Heck, it's just a lot of amusing, logical puzzles, whether you have lost your keys and are just trying to get home or you have lost your job and are looking for a quick source of income from stolen property. Either way works.