Escape from the Haunted Room
If there is any one group of room escape designers that excel at the art more than any other, it would have to be the Japanese. Don't think so? Then check out the top five finishers for Best of 2011 Escape Games. Another thing the Japanese do really well is ghosts. Whether in stories, manga, anime, or live action films, the Japanese seriously know how to create a chilling atmosphere (check out "Ringu" vs. the westernized remake "The Ring" if you don't believe me). Back in December we debuted a new designer, MyGames888 and their interesting effort, 3 Doors, and this week they're back with the spooky Escape from the Haunted Room. It isn't difficult to see that this talented group is fulfilling the promise seen the first time around.
As the title suggests, the room you're to escape from is haunted, although it is haunted with a Japanese ghost, which means not jump scares, screams, and buckets of blood, but rather quiet glimpses as you explore each area of the tiny apartment searching for a way out. The spirit seems almost benign, merely discretely making an appearance here and there, but don't be fooled. This deceased girl appears lonely and, well, let's just say there are two endings to this macabre little game. Much of the fun involves figuring out both endings.
Navigate using the arrows at the sides and bottom of the screen, click on an object once to use it, double-click to examine it. MyGames888 has once again taken great pleasure in playing with the basic assumptions of a room escape, using found objects in interesting and unique ways. Things aren't always what they seem. The downsides to the game are the lack of a changing cursor, leading to some pixel hunting, and the lack of a save function. Fortunately, there's a "replay" function if you find the bad ending. Some sort of musical accompaniment would have also helped to enhance the already charged atmosphere.
All things considered, Escape from the Haunted Room is an atmospheric little escape game with amusing puzzles. It's not very long, but it contains enough chills to be worth the effort. Enjoy trying to escape the room with the good ending.