It's a beautiful spring day (or so I imagine). You're walking along, a spring in your step, so carefree that you can't help but whistle a happy tune... but what's that? A pay phone is ringing. You look left, look right—no, there's no one else around. Is this a joke? You hesitate, then meander slowly over to the still-ringing telephone. You sense that perhaps you ought to keep on moving, that something is not quite right with this scenario, and for a moment your hand trembles above the receiver. But no, you're being silly. Maybe someone's dialed the wrong number? If so, you really ought to let them know. You pick it up....
A flash, a sense of falling. The world spins and your stomach wrenches. You stand there, stunned, eyes blinded by the brightness. And then, somehow, you understand... you're in the White Zone.
White Zone is an intriguingly different sort of room escape game; as you might have gathered, it does not take place in any sort of concrete space. There are no walls, no ceiling, no door; instead, the player is faced with a few pieces of furniture—two chairs, a television, and a dresser, to be exact—arranged in a circle, seemingly suspended within a white void. Some forgotten corner of the Matrix? Perhaps. The setting is ethereal, spare, almost dreamlike—do not, however, mistake its seeming simplicity for a lack of substance.
Indeed, it's amazing how much puzzle-y goodness is fit into such a sparsely-furnished environment. You can examine each piece of furniture from all sides, and you'll need to do so; as the game progresses you'll find yourself flitting back and forth between chair and dresser and television, each time uncovering a different clue or necessary item. Happily, the puzzles (with one very significant exception) are largely logical, dependent mainly upon observation of patterns and keen attention to detail, and should pose a healthy but not excessive challenge to most escapers.
I say "with one very significant exception" because, at least to me, the game's final puzzle was baffling. Not in the good way, either; even after I had lucked into the answer, I didn't really understand how one was supposed to arrive at that particular conclusion. I'm pretty sure I found all the relevant clues, too... still, there's certainly a good possibility that I'm just being dense, and that the answer is dancing a merry jig in front of my nose. In any event, I look forward to seeing what y'all come up with. ;)
Potential flaws aside, I greatly enjoyed White Zone for its solid puzzling and surreal aesthetic. It's refreshing to see such a unique interpretation of the term "room escape"!
Pick up the phone, it's for you: