Room escape games are some of the best things in the world, at least I think so. However, when you've played enough of them, things start to feel a bit...well, samey, don't they? After all, how many shaky pictures have we knocked off of walls? How many left/right directions for buttons (or cranks) have we deduced from pictures/dolls/figurines, whatever? How many times have we searched for keys, screwdrivers, wrenches, or other helpful bits of hardware? Wouldn't it be nice to have an escape game with some unique and original puzzles? Well, dear readers, we do now. Welcome to Rosetta Escape by Otousan.
Rosetta Escape, in fact, has many of the usual conventions. Screwdrivers? Check. Keys? Check. Finding objects? Check. But what lies at the heart of this amusing little game are a series of unique, original, heavily color-based puzzles that infuse a breath of fresh air into the stale, standard escape. Even better, many of the puzzles are randomly generated, so they change each time you play the game.
Rosetta Escape begins in a basic, four-walled room. There's no set up (and no musical accompaniment) to let you know what's going on. You're in a room, and of course you want to get out. Move around using the arrows at the sides (or bottom) of the screen, click on things for a close up or to pick them up, and bend your mind sideways to escape this amusing little puzzle. Finding things is pretty easy, due to the wonderful changing cursor that lets you know where the hot-spots are. Solving the puzzles? Well, that might take a while. Pull up a chair and prepare to spend some time solving your way out.
Although Rosetta Escape is a Japanese game, no knowledge of the language is needed. Any letter puzzles are in English, and everything else is a complicated code of colors, tiles, symbols, and funky drawings which, if interpreted correctly, will help you get out of the stark space. Otousan (which means "father" in Japanese) has created a fun, challenging little world in which to get lost for a few minutes (or hours, depending). The only complaint is that a save feature of some sort would have been nice, especially if you get hung up and want to walk away for a while.
The backgrounds are pretty basic and somewhat cartoony, but the heart of the game is in the puzzle solving. Original, enjoyable, and in some respects different from many of the room escape games out there, Rosetta Escape is a fantastic way to while away your time in the middle of the week. I only wish my dad made escape games this good.