The Happy Escape 7
It's codes and coins galore in Tesshi-e's latest escape game The Happy Escape 7, which has you scouring a room for ten Happy Coins hidden by a friend. Only she hasn't just tucked them into bowls and windowsills and under pillows. She's created an entire series of elaborate puzzles and codes you'll need to crack first. And squeaky hammers. And hippos. Because that's what real friends do. That's actually going in my letter to Princess Celestia this week. To play, just click to interact and use the bars that appear when you mouse over the edges of the screen to move around the room. There's no changing cursor, but a few locations will pop up with an arrow to indicate you can click to look around the side of something. When you're carrying an item in your inventory, clicking it once will highlight it for use in the game, or you can select "about item" for a close up view that can allow you to combine and manipulate. Pay close attention to your environment, because there are some seriously fiendish clues hiding around.
Annoying song or not, I think we can both agree that what Pharell was really singing about was a new Tesshi-e game. After all, what's happier than a Happy Escape with Happy Coins? This latest in the series might also be one of the cleverest, with a big emphasis on cracking codes, though you'll do a fair amount of "use X on Y" too. Some of which, incidentally, seems like a bit of a stretch when it comes to how intuitive it is, but hey, that's why I don't make escape games. It's harder than it sounds, since you'll need to figure out what codes go where, and also how to decipher (or even spot) a code to begin with. At first glance, the room seems almost sparse compared to other Tesshi-e games, but once you start looking around you'll realise there's a lot more going on than it seems. It's a very smart game, if not exactly a showstopper when it comes to visual design, but the soundtrack is catchy, and I could swear I've heard it somewhere before, so if one of you figures it out you'll probably save my sanity. Few things can put a smile on an escape game fan's face like a solid showing from Tesshi-e, and The Happy Escape 7 is definitely the sort of brain food the developer is best known for.