Sometimes, to amuse myself, I make up little stories as to why an escape game protagonist might have ended up in his or her current situation, or flesh out in my mind the scenario that is already given. I've come up with pretty fun and random stuff... never, however, have I concocted anything as sublimely bizarre, as cheerfully surreal, as what Gump has created with Charisma.
In Charisma, you play an orange-jumpsuited, blue-afroed dude who is trapped within what appears to be a combination living room/recording studio. There is a second gentleman inscrutably watching you from behind a glass partition, his hand poised above two buttons. He, for whatever reason, is not going to be of any help (and, in another departure from reality, smashing the glass and demanding he release you is not an option). So, it's up to you to explore the room, figure out what he wants and, eventually, set yourself free.
You probably won't find this last task too tough. While Charisma's puzzles are nicely concocted and enjoyably creative, they are also fairly simple "connect item A to object B to solve C"-type problems. The game is also quite short, and (assuming you don't run into undue difficulties) will probably take you about 20 minutes to solve. Despite these things, however, Charisma is probably my favorite GUMP production; this is mainly due to its joyful, strange, utterly out-of-nowhere ending. I won't go into detail, but I will say this: it might take you a few times to get right, but it's worth it.
Like all of Gump's other games, Charisma is quite polished and professional-looking, with cleanly stylized graphics and a flawless interface. The quirky soundtrack nicely fits the game's overall theme, and there's a helpfully-provided save feature. All in all, everything just works really nicely together, creating a seamless whole. Enjoy!
Time to make some beautiful music: