There's no denying that an important component of escape games is the inclusion of logical, creative puzzles to reward players' sleuthing efforts with a sense of accomplishment. Still, all by themselves, puzzles are just puzzles, things easily bought in printed periodicals at the checkout counter. Really good escape games embed puzzles into fun environments, creating the idea of occupying an interesting place, one you'd want to immerse yourself in and explore to your heart's content. Yonashi's Sea Room is just such a place, filled with unabashed playfulness and a sense of whimsy that readily infects your mood with smiles. As you point-and-click your way around the various chambers, unlocking doors and solving puzzles, you almost don't want the experience to end.
As escaping is the goal, though, you won't encounter much to keep you from reaching the exit. Most the puzzles are straight-forward, focused on amusing clue presentations more than taxing your mental stamina. The interface is intuitive: grey bars with arrows at the edges of the scene indicate where and when you can turn or back up while a changing cursor directs you towards areas where you can move forward or look closer. Even so, a portion of the challenge comes from navigating the multiple round rooms without losing track of where you are or how to get back to a needed item. There's also a hard-to-find pixel, which might tempt you to brute-force a certain code. That pink starfish is out there, though; just think of places where starfish might stick. A handful of codes to break, a memory minigame and adventuresome item-use puzzles mean it'll take about 15 minutes to get out. As in Rain, you must infer what to do based on the non-verbal clues. But that adds to the playful quality in a way that reminds me of Graffiti 2. Sea Room is like a child's imagination come to life—brimming full of sweet whimsy, all set to prove what is good and happy about playing in an undersea world.