Legend has it that if you're pure of heart and dazzling of smile, Neutral will leave you an escape game... and why, would you look at this, it's Elements! You're locked in a lovely room and, as always, your goal is to try to find a way out, but, also as always, the way is filled with Neutral's cunning puzzles, secrets, locks, and objects. To play, just click around to explore, but since the cursor doesn't change even if it passes over something you can use, you'll want to try to interact with everything, and every nook and cranny. Click the magnifying glass that pops up when you mouse over items you're carrying to view items up close and maybe interact with them more, and use the save function if you need a break. Pay attention to your surroundings, and maybe take some notes if you come across anything that looks particularly puzzle solutions-y, but don't expect a lot of hand-holding. And just because you've finally opened the lock doesn't mean you're out of the woods yet...
It's been a long time since Neutral has made an escape game that wasn't bite-sized, and fans have been excited for one for good reason... Neutral knows how to make games that are somehow at once both minimalist and beautiful in their presentation, with subtle sound effects and animation atop lovely backdrops, and then liberally packs it with puzzles that really encourage you to use your brain. Elements starts out slow, lobbing you a couple obstacles that can be cracked simply by using the right item in the right place, but slowly ramps up the difficulty with puzzles whose meanings aren't always obvious. While there's not really any pixel-hunting per se, it's still easy to miss something simply because there's so much to be found, and you'll quickly realize that Elements is far bigger and more complex than anything Neutral has put out in recent years. While some objects are tucked into odd places so finding them is a matter of spotting small details, Elements is more focused on connecting the dots from the clues you find everywhere, and it's easy to get overwhelmed if you don't keep track of them yourself, but also because some of them are so cleverly hidden you might not realize you're actually looking at one. While it's frustrating to get stuck and have the game offer no help or feedback at all as to why something isn't working, finally realizing what you need to do is so satisfying, and one of the reasons why Neutral's cunningly crafted escape games are always such an event. Elements is smart, sneaky, and all around lovely, and an absolute treat for fans who have been craving something with some serious meat on its bones to sink their teeth into.
Thanks to Corbin for sending this one in!