Sometimes you really have to carve into a thing to reach its essence, to see the hidden meanings just below the surface, to open up answers ready for the taking. This is even more true in Yonashi's whimsy-doused escape game, Cut!. Everything you need to open the cupboards and get the exit key is near at hand, as long as you have the correct tool and know just how to cut out the distracting excess. You begin the game with nothing at all, though, and you may feel at a loss for how to solve the wall of puzzles in front of you. So you must explore the room, following a changing cursor to zoom in on interactive areas, clicking the grey bars at the sides and bottom of the screen to navigate, until you find something to help you get started. Then, though, your next task is figuring out how to use that one inventory item to help you acquire others. As you investigate everything in sight and put together clues, you'll be able to decipher more codes and make more progress toward your eventual escape.
Of course, the satisfaction of unraveling a riddle and cracking some codes is only part of the enjoyment in Cut!. Topping it all off is a winking playfulness and lots of fun visuals to keep the experience a happy one. Once again Yonashi shows a flair for making nearly wordless yet highly expressive escape games. This heavy reliance on inference may prove frustrating at times as you're stretched to make the connections between the images you're shown and how they relate to the solutions you need. Yet the logic remains as solid as ever. Being a little less cutesy, the design of Cut! is a bit more akin to No Name Room than to Sea Room, yet everything you appreciate about Yonashi's style is well presented here—just enough challenge to draw you in and occupy your brain for 15 minutes yet light enough to paste a smile on your face and keep it there the entire time.