Cube Escape: Arles
Rusty Lake's dark and surreal escape series continues with Cube Escape: Arles, also free for iOS and Android. This time, you find yourself in a tiny apartment, surrounded by unfinished paintings and empty bottles, with only your own reflection to keep you company. To play, just tap on things to interact or pick them up, and tap the tiny black arrows at the edges of the screen to move around. You can use an item in your inventory by tapping it once to select it, and then tapping again anywhere you'd like to try to use it. As in Cube Escape: Seasons and Cube Escape: The Lake, things seem tranquil enough, but there are some disturbing themes lurking beneath the surface, which you'll probably clue into as soon as you realize where and who you are. Just keep calm, pay attention to your surroundings for clues, and try not to lose your head... or anything else attached to it.
It's not really apparent if Cube Escape: Arles fits immediately into a connected narrative with the other two games in the series, though it definitely shares a lot of the same themes. It looks gorgeous, with the slight, dreamlike distortion adding a subtle sense of wrongness to the already uneasy atmosphere, and Rusty Lake's design is simple and intuitive to use. As for the puzzles, well, while they're mostly pretty clever, including a neat spin on paint-by-the-numbers, and another where you need to use logic and math, at least one of them expects you to have a rather particular bit of knowledge for how a certain liquor is served, and others can rely on finding small items tucked around the area rather than figuring things out. Still, Cube Escape: Arles continues the high standard of otherworldly escape games Rusty Lake has already begun to become known for, with just enough strange twists to keep you hooked, and a meaty chunk of puzzles to wrap your brain around. You might need to think outside the box and get creative to find a way out, and some clues are very subtle, but if you want an escape game that marries creepy with crazy, Cube Escape: Arles is easily recommended.
Play Cube Escape: Arles
Cube Escape: Arles (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
Cube Escape: Arles