Escape from Dr. Ichie's Cafe
It's a truly nasty day in New York. Not that I don't love snow (I do! It can be beautiful!) but when the wind is blowing and the flakes are sticking to your eyelashes and you soak your boots in a deceptively deep, muddy puddle…well, that's when you want to throw down your hat and see if it's too late to apply to that nice graduate program in Honolulu. Alas, I doubt I shall be eluding the winter doldrums anytime soon. At least I can console myself with the sweet, sunny Escape From Dr. Ichie's Cafe!
New from Bianco Bianco, creators of Mystery House: Escape from Beginning Room and Dr. Ichie's Room, Escape from Dr. Ichie's Cafe places you once more in the grasp of the mysterious doctor. The mysterious, somewhat accommodating doctor, that is—he or she was, after all, kind enough to lock you in a cozily wood-paneled cafe, with the sounds of the ocean to soothe you as you search. Nice, right? Even better is the fact that the cafe is filled with clever puzzles that tread the fine line between challenging and infuriating, providing a mentally stimulating experience that never crosses into head-banging-on-table territory.
The game's graphics are very nice, cleanly rendered and quite realistic, and pixel-hunting is at a minimum. As always, a save feature would have been nice…but really, I have very little bad to say about Escape from Dr. Ichie's Cafe. Is it groundbreaking? No. Especially innovative? Not really. It is, however, a well-designed, charming, highly entertaining escape game that will keep you happily involved for half an hour to forty-five minutes. Moreover, it is a marked step up from Bianco Bianco's other creations, definitely more clever and sophisticated than the previous games, which bodes very well for the developer's future offerings.