Today we're going to plunge into the vast, bottomless depths of the ancient past—aka, 2007—to bring you an enjoyable, well-crafted escape game. Another Room, by Japanese designer Mofuya, is a sweet, semi-short example of classic pointing and clicking.
The game isn't anything fancy, to be sure. No photorealistic graphics, no cut scenes, nothing dazzling or over-the-top... at the same time, however, everything is executed with near-perfect competence. The game's puzzles are simple but well-crafted; while not wildly creative or different, they nonetheless offer a satisfying variety of problems to tackle. The room's neat, somewhat subdued appearance is pleasing to the eye and makes it simple to navigate the surroundings. And, although Another Room's interface can be slightly clunky (combining items takes a few too many clicks), on the whole the game plays easily and intuitively.
One dubious element to this generally excellent game arrives at the very end: in a somewhat unfair twist, it's extremely easy to die just as you're about to escape (what a sucker punch!). While I like the idea of having to learn from your failures and replay the last bit a few times to get it right, in the absence of a save feature this can become an exercise in tedium. I won't ruin the ending or the surprise, but I will offer a piece of advice: just when everything seems set, take one more gander around the room and see if anything has changed. You should especially think twice if you still have unused items in your inventory.
But hey, who doesn't enjoy a little danger? Another Room is a ton of fun, a prime specimen of classic escape gaming goodness. Enjoy!
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Full walkthrough (ridiculous amounts of spoilers):
1. Collecting Stuff
Turn right to face the desk. Look in the wastebasket for a paper clip.
Turn right to face the coat tree and easel. Lift the hat to find a coin underneath.
Turn right twice to face the chair. Lift the newspaper for a box of matches.
Click to the right of the small table to find a paintbrush.
Turn right to face the shelf. Take the pink money box sitting on top of the middle shelf.
Open the doors on the bottom shelf to find a pile of wooden logs and an AC adapter.
Click to the right of the bottom shelf to find an oil can.
2: Using Stuff
Turn back to the sofa. Click on the panel in the back corner of the room. Use the coin to turn the screw, then open the panel for an axe.
Click on the logs in your inventory. Click "Combi", then click on the axe. Use the axe to chop the logs into firewood.
Turn to the fireplace. Put the firewood in the fireplace.
Click on your oil can. Combine with the coin and use it to remove the lid.
Pour the oil onto the firewood. Light the fire with the matches.
Wait a bit. You'll hear a sound.
Click the clock to reveal a key.
Turn to the shelf. Use the key to unlock the white box. Open it for a mobile phone.
Click the phone. Check the screen. No signal, but note the four colors at the bottom. These are random and change with every game.
Turn to the door. Open the breaker box.
Click on your paper clip and bend the tip outward.
Use the clip to press the reset button.
The four buttons have turned red. Click them to change their color. Enter the color code you found on the mobile phone.
The light turns blue. You just restored cell coverage to the room. Wait a bit.
You've got mail! Check the screen of your phone and read the email. Administrator access has been installed on the computer.
3: The Computer
Turn to the chair. Dip your paintbrush in the glass of water.
Turn to the easel. Click the easel and use the paintbrush on the paper. The pattern changes! Note this new pattern (it's random).
Turn to the desk and click on the computer. Plug in the AC adapter to restore the PC's power.
Press the power button on the computer. (The computer in the game, not your real one! =P )
Watch the computer boot. When asked, enter the pattern from the easel.
The door gate is open! However, DO NOT ATTEMPT ESCAPE YET. Trust me. Shut the computer down.
Check the easel again. The pattern has again changed.
Boot up the computer again and enter the new new pattern.
The side slot is open! Shut the PC down and you'll see a small open drawer with a weird coin inside.
Insert the weird coin into the money box.
4: The Final Countdown
Get ready to move fast.
Turn to the glass door and shatter it with the axe.
You now have thirty seconds to escape before you're fatally poisoned.
Walk through the door to find... another door. Check the pedestal to your left.
The 'Release Key' is the money box with weird coin inside.
Put the money box on the pedestal. If you missed the weird coin, money box, or both, you're doomed.
The door is open. Escape!
Posted by: Lavos | March 18, 2009 3:41 AM
I know Lavos just posted a walkthrough, but, I've always wanted to do one, so here's mine.
Hey, there's a panel on the wall in front of us. It is flashing yellow. Lets open it. I see four buttons where you can enter a "key", and a reset button. Why don't the buttons do anything? And we don't have a wire to reset the panel. Lets go back one screen so we see the whole wall. There is glass with a gate over it. I wonder if this is what we will be escaping through later?
Lets turn left. We found a wall-unit with books, art, wine... Is there anything behind the sliding doors at the bottom of the wall unit? Hey, we found wood and an a/c adapter. I wish I had a key for that locked box and what's up with the book going on about the mysterious "water ink". What a cute little pink cat. Can I keep it? Hey, it's a money box, cool.
Is there anything else hiding here? What's that between the door of the wall-unit (where we found the a/c adapter) and the wall. Cool we found some oil. What could that be for? Lets go back one screen so we can see the whole wall-unit again.
How about another left turn? What a comfortable looking chair. Can I take a nap here? If I just move this newspaper, then I can… Awesome the pyro found a box of matches, does that mean I get to set the room on fire to get out? Oh shucks, the game won't let me. What happens if I click between the chair and the side table. A paint brush, neat. I like water paints, much easier for an armature artist to work with. Can we go back one screen and try out that chair again? I'm thirsty, should I drink the water, or should I use it to paint with? Maybe I should dip the paintbrush in the water, just in case. What's that in the corner? A hidden compartment. I wish I had a key.
Left again? If I have to. There is a clock and a fireplace. Can I please start a fire now? Why are you suddenly so concerned about air quality? All right, I'll wait I can't get the wood into the fireplace anyway. Is that clock really timing us?
I wonder which way I should turn now? If I turn right can I nap in that comfy chair? Oh, well, I'll go left. That's a strange hat rack. Do I look good in this hat? What's that hiding under the hat? A big coin, cool, will it fit in my new money box? Meow, too big. An easel with a canvas on it. Can I paint a picture? Lets try it. A four by four grid. Hmm, not very interesting, I think I'll paint over it. Hey, the pattern changed. Maybe I should write it down, we might need it later. I wonder if this is the magic "water ink" that the book was talking about? Lets go back a screen, I think you should try on the hat now.
How about another left turn? I wouldn't want to disrupt my pattern. Wow, a computer, I wonder if I have any email? How do you turn it on? Oh, THAT'S the power button, I never would have thought to look on the right of the keyboard, you're so smart. Oops, I forgot to plug in the computer. Lets try that again. That's better, What do you mean I don't have the authority? Stupid computer. Is there anything useful in the trash? A paper clip, if I look at it closely, maybe I can straighten out one end and poke you relentlessly. Ok, ok, I'll stop.
If I go left again, I wonder what will happen? Hey, this isn't new, I've already seen this. Maybe I can use the paperclip…I promise I won't poke you again…to push the reset button, in the wall panel. The good news is that the yellow light stopped flashing, the bad news is that it is just red and the buttons are all pink they change colors, nice, but it dosen't do anything, I guess I'll go and do something else for a minute. How about that nap. Lets go over by the chair.
Hey, remember the loose floorboard by the chair, lets go unlock it. I bet that big coin could be used as a screwdriver for such a large screw. What did you find? What did you find? An ax, sweet, I always wanted to be an ax murderer. Just kidding, I love you man. Smooch. All right, all right, I promise, I'll never insult your masculinity again. I wonder if you could chop the wood so I could start a fire. Yes, I did say you. Hay you wanted to prove how manly you are. Good, now put the wood in the fireplace. Now, for some lighter fluid. That can of oil will work, if I just had a large screwdriver I could pry off the lid. Good idea, I can use the big coin again. Now I can pour the oil on the firewood and light it with the matches.
Ahh, a nice warm fire. Lets enjoy it for a moment. Did you bring stuff to make s'mores? What was that sound? It came from the above the fireplace. What the heck? There is a key hiding behind the clock. I wonder what it opens? The only thing I remember seeing that uses a key is the box on the wall-unit? Lets go try it. Wow, we found a cell phone. Too bad it doesn't have a signal. I wonder what happens when I click on the screen. Four squares in a row, hmm. Where did I see that before? The wall panel, right. Lets go try it.
Cool, I put in the "key" from the cell phone, and the circle turned blue. I wonder what that did. Wait I have mail on my phone. Lets check it out. Wow now I have the authority to use the computer. Lets go.
Do you remember how to turn on the computer? Good. It worked. Woohoo. I've seen that grid before. Do you remember the pattern on from the canvas? All right! The gate is open. Lets go look. Now we just have to get through the glass. But what about the cat-faced money box? Maybe we should figure out what to do with it before we leave. After all Jess said there was a twist.
Lets look around and see if there is something we can do. Wall panel? Finished… Clock? Still timing us… How about the picture. It's still not very pretty, maybe we should paint over it before we go. Hey, it changed again. We need it before, I'd better write it down again. The only place that I remember seeing a grid like that is in the computer. I guess we should try it there.
The side slot is open. What does that mean? Hey, the computer opened up. I guess I should have taken a closer look at the picture. There is a coin in the computer's hidden compartment that just opened up. That coin looks like a cat's face. I wonder if it wants to be friends with my pink cat. Oh yeah, the cat is a moneybox. I suppose I should let it hold my money. Do you want the honor of putting the computer's coin in my cat? Push it in, baby, ALL the way in. Ok, ok, I'll stop. Put the coin in already. You're kidding right? Your lifelong hobby is saving money. You need to find something else to do with your time.
All right, we figured out what to do with the cat, now, how do we get out of here. The gate is up, we could just smash the glass. If only we had something big and heavy that we could use. Maybe the ax would work. Alley-oop, now lets get out of here. What, another door? How do we open this one? What's with that bio-hazard sign? WHAT there's a timer? What is the release key? Quick, what do we have left. Oil, used it… ax, too big... cat? Try it quick. My poor pink cat. Oh well, lets get out of here.
Posted by: silliee | March 18, 2009 3:48 AM