Escape from the Rest House
So you've decided this year is the year to finally get into some sort of shape, and your first step is cardio. A nice stroll, whether down the block, on the beach, or to a nearby park is the best way to get started. But what happens if you get tired, or winded? Well, if you're the protagonist of many of Tesshi-e's games, you find the nearest structure (house, cottage, concrete hole in the ground) and immediately get trapped inside. In Escape from the Rest House, the latest room escape from Tesshi-e, you have done this once again. You know, there's something to be said for the internal combustion engine. Or public transportation. Or staying off of other people's property. Just saying.
So what makes this one so different? Well, dear reader, the difference is noticeable the instant you hit the new game/intro button. Wait, could it be? Is that...English? Well, at least it's Engrish, along with the Japanese text. Finally, you can play a Tesshi-e game and know what the heck is going on from the opening introduction, even if you don't read Japanese. And the story is...well, pretty much what you'd expect, actually. "I was walking along and went into this house..." is basically it. For those of us who can't read Japanese it was always a bit mysterious. For all we know it could have been something like: "I was running from these evil Russian nuclear zombie spies, and I had to duck into the nearest structure to get away before they could catch me carrying the secret blueprints/microfilm/whatever." Oh well, letdown or not, at least we know what is going on!
Well, sort of. What is a Rest House, anyway? Is it something in a park or public place where you can sit and rest for a bit? Let's presume so, since the Rest House has a very public feel to it, with its columns, benches, and fountains. A nice idea and one which can be appreciated by anyone who has tromped all over a park or national monument until their feet are bloody stumps. A fabulous place to take a load off. If only you hadn't inadvertently locked yourself in...
Navigation can be a bit tricky at first, as this is a large open space. There are some navigation bars and arrows which appear when hovered over with the cursor, but exploration of the side walls can be confusing at first. However, it is not that large a space, and eventually the navigation will become second nature as you explore the always lovely interior. Look around, open things (if you can), and explore every square inch to find your way out. The game is Tesshi-e's usual blend of use of found objects, some combining, and several fun and tricky puzzles. What makes Rest House stand out amongst the rest is not only the use of English but the lack of color-based puzzles; making life easier for our friends with color-blindness who like solving their way out of a room as much as the rest of us.
Everything you expect from a Tesshi-e game is here: tight design, easy inventory control, a save button that can come in handy when looking for the happy coin escape, occasional pixel hunting, unique combinations and animation, and some very familiar music. The games, though, keep evolving. Play the Tesshi-e games from earliest to latest and you can see the evolution. Ever more intriguing and challenging puzzles, lovely graphical design, and increasing accessibility to those who don't live in Japan or who can't see certain colors.
Granted, the English translation can be a little ...shaky at times. And once in a while you will click on something and get nothing but Japanese, but for the most part Escape from the Rest House is Tesshi-e's most accessible escape to date. Not terribly difficult, but fun, challenging, and finally you know what the heck is going on! Now if only someone would let Tesshi-e know about a changing cursor these Mild Escapes would be perfect! Well, even more fun than they are now, which is saying a lot. So play Escape from the Rest House! Now with 50% more Engrish!