As the holidays draw closer everything seems to get more frantic, doesn't it? No worries, we have you covered. Yes, this week's escape is another surreal jaunt that will take your mind off your troubles. Welcome to A Cold Escape by Cogito Ergo Sum, a Japanese room escape game that will help you escape from reality (for a while, at least).
This week's offering, like last week is not so much an escape from a room as an escape to an altered state (or at least an escape from being sick). This is the adventure of a cat and dog whose master has fallen ill, or, as the opening movie hilariously states, "Master is a cold!" Follow the adventures of the intrepid pets as they attempt to make master feel better. And what super pets they are! No, really, they have super powers. Or, at least, powers. So let's get started. Or, "Let's nursing!" Seriously, you have to watch the opening movie before you start. That alone will make your day.
Navigation through this two room apartment is simple and accomplished with arrows that appear at the sides or bottom of the screen. Pick up items to go into your on-screen inventory. There's no changing cursor, so be prepared for a bit of pixel hunting, but nothing too terrible. Simply double-click on an inventory item for a close up when needed. There is a nice mix of puzzle solving and use of found objects here, as well as a test of your ability to follow directions. Just remember, advice given in a cute escape game is not, perhaps, the best way to treat an illness in real life. Just saying.
The art is a cute, flat cartoony style in muted colors, and there's even a pleasant little tune playing in the background. Well, pleasant for a little while, at least. Fortunately there's a handy mute button when the music crosses over into "creating an axe murderer" mode (after about 2 minutes).
Analysis: Another surreal adventure into some rather strange territory, but frankly couldn't we all use something to make us smile right now? This is cute casual gameplay and something that is guaranteed to leach away the stress of dealing with, well everything that is going on at this time of year. The translation into English is a bit... shaky, but that only adds to the giggle factor.
Despite all the silliness, there's lots of real escaping fun to be had. A nice mix of puzzle solving and use of found objects; with the need for the animals' own special abilities thrown in for good measure makes for wonderful gaming experience. There are even two endings to be found in this little gem. Marvel at the leaping dog and the punching cat, just remember to use them well while you are playing nurse. Get ready to experience some light, silly fun and play A Cold Escape.