Escape from Blender
Museums and Art Galleries are some of the best places in the world. Stuffed to the gills with the fruits of artistic creation, they are places of wonder and whimsy. The greatest expressions of civilization can be found there, with Monet rubbing cheeks with Picasso, Renaissance art sharing space with Ancient Egypt, and monkey head statues that make you dizzy...
Welcome to Escape from Blender Art Gallery, a simple room escape game that manages to convey the entire depth and breadth of the surrealistic movement in one small package. Created by Bianco Bianco, authors of the Dr. Ichi series and Magical Sphere Escape, Escape from Blender Art Gallery almost completely jettisons any kind of internal logic and just presents the player with strange, surreal puzzles to solve.
So the story begins after the aforementioned monkey makes you dizzy enough to miss the closing of the gallery. Oh no, you're locked in! Confined to a single room in the gallery (or else it's a very small gallery) you must find objects and solve puzzles to make your way out. Why did the monkey make you dizzy? Why didn't security notice you lying there? Why is this gallery decorated so strangely? All questions that have no answers.
At first you'll notice that the gallery itself is quite a departure from Bianco Bianco's usual clean, minimal designs. From the patterned and textured carpeting (that itself belongs in a 70s rec room) to each wall having a different color and pattern, the room seems designed to disorient and confuse. Navigation is extremely simple, accomplished by directional bars at the edge of the screen. Although there are sound effects when you pick up or manipulate objects, there is nothing but eerie silence to accompany your quest to get the heck out. Is this real? Is this a bad dream? You decide.
Inventory control is straightforward. Objects go into an inventory at the right of the screen, double click on an object to examine it close up. Most objects are single-use, making the game even simpler. There's no save button or mute button, but they're not really needed.
Analysis: There's usually not a lot of logic involved in room escape games, unless, perhaps, you are the main character in one of the "Saw" movies. It's nice to see a game that basically ignores story, background, motivation, etc. You got dizzy, you're locked in, you need to get out. The puzzles you need to solve also jettison most of the logic of room escape. Eye lasers? Really? Fun, challenging, simple, Escape from Blender Art Gallery is the perfect antidote to the mid-week blahs.
Although most experienced gamers could blow through this in 10 minutes or less, slow down, take your time. Enjoy the headache-inducing clash of carpeting and wall patterns, contemplate the meaning of the displays, or just gaze at the monkey head and wonder, is that post modern or post-post-modern? Dali or Dada? Stay in the game too long and you will half expect dripping clocks to appear across a landscape. Perfect for casual gameplay, Escape from Blender Art Gallery is a fun break from whatever you are doing. Just remember afterwords, it was only a dream.