Kids get the weirdest toys. Dinosaurs with wheels. Monster trucks that roar and eat cavemen. Toy robot bears with color-coded buttons that correspond to wallpaper trim with arms that can be positioned to write encoded messages to other playmates. You know, the usual stuff. Playroom, a brand new room escape game from Imagia creator Kayzerfish, takes place in just such a location, and in order to escape from this abode, you'll need to do some serious code breaking, map drawing, and item hunting in this colorful and challenging title.
Use the mouse to do everything in this game, nudging it to the edge of the screen to move around and clicking on items to pick them up or take a closer look. There are a number of areas you'll need to step in and scrutinize, such as the posters and the travel chest, and their appearance in both views can be important. Keep a lookout for items hidden in plain sight, stuffed behind corners or sitting almost-hidden right in front of your nose. The little details can matter quite a bit!
Items automatically slide into your inventory, and in many cases you can examine them by clicking on them. Some can even be manipulated while in a close-up view, and you'll have to use this to solve a few of the game's many perplexing puzzles. Again, watch for small details, even on items, and think logically.
Analysis: The room escape formula is quite established at this point in time, and Playroom doesn't really deviate from those set standards. It does, however, take a bit more of a cryptic path to many of its puzzles, preferring to lay most of them out in tangled, often confusing codes. Bears with their arms raised representing letters? O...k... How about cities on a map that need to be connected? Or colored shapes that must be deciphered? Yikes!
Relatively difficult puzzles aside, the rest of Playroom is very well-constructed, featuring an easy navigation system, an inventory that works without too much hassle, and hotspots that are generous enough to allow you to do what you need to do without fussing with individual pixels. A few of the items are difficult to spot, but if everything was splayed out on the table for you, this wouldn't be much of a game, would it?
Another room escape game from Kayzerfish is never a bad thing, and Playroom looks to be a great start to a new series of games.