Escape from the Round Room
Awwwwwww yisssss, ain't no escape like a Tesshi-e escape, 'cause Tesshi-e escapes don't stop 'til you've enjoyed a finely crafted series of puzzles! In Escape from the Round Room, you're enjoying a nice extended vacation in a quaint little lodge, but when it comes time to leave, you find yourself locked in. That, besides the fact that there's no stove, bathroom, or refrigerator, or basic amenities whatsoever beyond that fabulous bedazzled toaster would make me think they owe you a refund, but the incredibly swanky smooth jazz they're piping in makes me willing to forgive a lot. Making sure you select "English" from the title screen unless you speak Japanese, to play, click to interact and navigate, and view items you gather by clicking once to highlight them, then again on the About Item button. If you want to see if something you're holding can be used in the environment, click to highlight, and then again where you're trying to use it. True to Tesshi-e fashion, there are clues hidden everywhere to help you solve the locks and codes barring your way, so click every cranny and ponder every puzzle!
One of the things Tesshi-e does best is design spaces that seem small and sparse, but wind up hosting a surprising amount of puzzles and clues. Escape from the Round Room is a prime example with its economical design that at first glance seems emptier than other Tesshi-e titles, leading you from objective in objective in a natural progression, each one nudging you towards the next. It's a mix of the straight-forward and the more eclectic, though none of it is what you'd call unintuitive except maybe in one instance where a locked object doesn't need a traditional key, or you have to revisit a "solved" object you might not necessarily think to. Still, Escape from the Round Room winds up being quite creative in some unexpected ways, and Tesshi-e's usual level of intellectual polish and style shines through. It may not have been what you expected when you rented this circular little lodge for a weekend of rest, but Tesshi-e is one land lady you never have to worry about disappointing you.