Matryoshka (New Edition)
NOTE: the online Flash version of the new edition of Matryoshka is available to play from July 19 - July 27 only.
You're in a room that appears to be round; this is confirmed as you tap the arrows at the sides or swipe left and right on the screen, inspecting your surroundings. It's a pleasant enough room, painted in a pastel palate of blues and whites, a fashionably modern yet comfortable looking sofa, plant, desk, picture... but no door! As pretty as this room may be, eventually one has to eat, breath the fresh air, go to work. But how? To do that, investigate your surroundings, look for hints to help you solve the visual riddles nestled all about the room. Maybe then you can peel back the layers of this deceptively congenial trap and make your way out of Matryoshka (New Edition), available for iOS and Android, as well as on your browser for a limited time. The appeal of this cleverly inventive escape game by Kotorinosu, like the Russian nesting dolls it's named after, is in its many layers and surprises held within. Besides the satisfaction that comes from having your mental prowess challenged—and succeeding—there is much to enjoy in Matryoshka's design with very cool visuals and fun animations to reward your progress.
If you've played any of Kotorinosu's other escape games, such as Room Gamma or Pixel Room, you already know you're in for a treat, even before opening the app on your mobile device. This time Kotorinosu has gone all out to make the user interface as intuitive as possible, all actions completed by a simple tap. Tap on any object in the room and, if it can be picked up, it'll automatically appear in your inventory at the bottom of the screen. Tap to select an object in your inventory then tap again somewhere in the scene to (attempt to) put it to use. Or, tap an object's icon twice to examine it in more detail, which you'll want to do as a number of puzzles take place that way. There is slight drawback to this as the inventory animations could be distracting. Yet it's a minor nitpick considering the overall high quality of the design and interface.
As far as being a "new edition", while sharing its title with Matryoshka, a browser-based escape game released some time back, this particular game is truly original by its own rights—the visuals are completely revamped and there are many newly-designed puzzles to boggle your wits. Even though a couple concepts appear in both versions, there is much more that is notably unique and different, making this a game that shouldn't be overlooked. It can be enjoyed by fans familiar with the original as well as anyone who loves a good puzzle adventure to go. It's hard to decide which is more enjoyable about this new edition of Matryoshka: the crisp, fresh aesthetics or how the puzzles are the perfect level of difficulty. But you get to enjoy both simultaneously, so no need to choose. Save that brain power for the true tasks at hand, unlocking the delights nestled inside this new edition of Matryoshka.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPad 2. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.