Recently I was asked, "What do you like about escape games? How do they make you feel?" This is a hard question because there is a certain ineffability about the appeal of escape games. I muttered something about feeling witty, explorations of interesting places and unending playful whimsy. So I turn the question to you: what is it about these games that keep you coming back for more? Take, for example, the puzzles in a surreal paper world by Esklavos, the search for inspiration and No1Game's green men, or the ingredients for a cheerful celebration of Funkyland...
Find the Escape-Men 111: Fairy Tale - On its game page, No1Game points out that this episode was inspired by a Kukai poem. It plays a bit differently than most Find the Escape-Men games and seems a guest designer was involved in its creation. Still, the same idiosyncrasies of the EM series remain. You'll need perseverance, patience, and understanding to help you through some rather arbitrary item-use puzzles and finish the fairy tale with all ten green guys' help. The focus, though, is soundly on the experience and the uplifting message at the end.
Paper World Escape - One of Esklavos' distinguishing characteristics is the use of surrealism in its design. Here, paper craft is the perfect medium for Esklavos' creative puzzles and gorgeous artwork, the drawbacks being a rather clunky interface and a tendency to be abstruse. Collect clues, figure out what they're pointing to in each scene, and you'll earn the four colored keys needed to unlock the archway and escape. When eye-pleasing visuals meet brain-teasing puzzles, it's worth a few extra clicks to operate inventory or interact with the scene. It's all about the journey through the destination.
FunkyLand 10th Anniversary - When FunkyLand celebrates an anniversary, it means your help is needed to gather the five ingredients needed for a yummy party cake. This means solving several puzzles all resplendent in FunkyLand's whimsical-meets-mod room designs. Despite a couple extra puzzles, though, escape comes easily enough, making the only disappointment the brevity of the experience. Even so, one of the best parts of an escape is how it takes only five minutes to infuse cheer into your mood.
We love escape games, and our readers love talking about them and sharing hints! How about you? Let us know what you think, ask for clues, or help out other players in the comments below.