Escape from the
Some escape games are short, sweet, and sentimental. Let's go for cold logic this week, shall we? Really cold. Snow cold. Snowman cold. How's about we try to Escape from the Snowman's Room? Designed by Tesshi-e, this is about as cold and logical as it gets. It's escaping time!
The first thing you might notice is that you can look out the window, but can't get out that way. Why? Is it because of the snow? For whatever reason, you'll need to find another way out. Or, because this is Tesshi-e after all, more than one way out. A way out that involves not one but five coins, a broken toy, and a rather angry looking snowman. Maybe he's mad that you left his room. After all, he must have spent a lot of time and effort locking you in there.
Navigation is accomplished with bars at the sides and bottom of the screen to turn left, right, and move backwards. Most objects that you can click on are in plain sight, but not everything is, so be prepared for some pixel hunting. And with all of Tesshi-e's games, be prepared to examine everything you pick up, because they can hold surprises. There's also a bit of object combining necessary to solve one of the central puzzles, so see what can fit together to make a handy, improvised tool. Inventory control is simple; just click on an object in the inventory, then click the "about item" button to bring it into close up. The game is in Japanese, but once in a while you will see an English phrase pop up. Don't worry, you don't need to be able to read Japanese to play. The solutions are all pure logic.
Analysis: Tesshi-e has once again given us a room escape that is not quite like all the others. The puzzles are logical for the most part and fairly easy. There's a little bit of construction of found objects, but nothing terribly non-intuitive. The fun part, once you understand the main puzzle, is figuring out all the little variables that give you the alternate endings. Can you find the happy coin escape in a room full of coins? Only time will tell.
The visuals are lovely, rendered 3D. Warm hardwood floors, comfortable looking furniture, strange objects that have no apparent use, all classic Tesshi-e. The jazzy musical accompaniment will sound very familiar to anyone who has ever played one of these games, but fortunately it can be muted. It would have been nice to have a save button, though, considering this game has been graced with not one, not two, but four different escape scenarios to be found. That's a lot of replaying if you really want to see them all. Fortunately, once you discover the main dynamic to escaping, replaying will go quite quickly.
There are a few downsides, of course. Pixel-hunting for one. At least two of the puzzles (including the main one) are color based, which can make the game difficult for the color blind. The game could also have been a bit longer. And a full English version would be really nice, wouldn't it?
However, don't let the minor flaws chase you away from what is fun, engaging casual gameplay. With four different escape scenarios to find, Escape From the Snowman's Room will happily engage your logic circuits and transport you to a place where snowmen get really angry if you break their toys in the process of escape. Bundle up, and be prepared to Escape From the Snowman's Room.