Escape from the Pool Bar
One of the reasons escape-the-room games are enjoyable has to do with being at a place in which we'd actually like to spend time, gaze about, soak in the atmosphere. The primary goal is titular: leave. But since you're trapped there, solving puzzles, until you can get out, you want it to be as pleasant an experience as possible. This is why you'll enjoy Escape from the Pool Bar by Jan's Room.
The Pool Bar is a convivial spot, especially for players who don't mind searching out every viewable corner and clickable area without a changing cursor to help. Looking around for clues and puzzles to solve, use arrows on the sides and bottom of the screen to turn or back up. Collected clues and objects are accessible in the side bar. "About Item" brings it up to examine; a single click to highlight it readies an item for use. Most puzzles involve entering codes and pressing buttons so all the challenge comes from trying to find clues and then interpreting them.
Gameplay can feel pixel hunt-y at times—especially when, for example, you know an ashtray is hiding somewhere, but can't find it. Then again, ashtrays aren't objects normally seen lying about any odd place. An absence of the cursor's hints and no English translation of Japanese messaging are drawbacks. If you'd rather focus energy on the puzzles themselves, not on uncovering some needed tools, your positive opinion of the game could be lessened. On the other hand, if exploring unaided is a delightful challenge instead of a frustration to you, you're in for extra fun in this regard.
Beyond feelings on mechanics in detective work, there's plenty in Escape from the Pool Bar to please escape fans of all ilks. With the right bit of difficulty and enough to do in the puzzles to make us feel we've earned our way through, leaving from the Pool Bar is just as enjoyable as being there.
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