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Escape from the Strange Forest

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Rating: 3.5/5 (145 votes)
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Escape from the Strange Forest

elleJust how strange is the titular forest in Hottategoya's Escape from the Strange Forest do you wonder? For one thing, it's strangely disorientating. You're not so much stuck inside this forest as you are hovering above it like a bird, one who is only able to see a select portion of this labyrinth copse at any given time and who, on occasion, can swoop down to examine a detail of the grassy floor. For another, these stoically quiet evergreens will, for reasons unknown, change their formations and create new paths for you to wander along. Stranger still, hidden somewhere in its depths is a set of stairs that lead further down toward a door—it is through here you can escape, if you can decipher the secret code that is.

Escape from the Strange ForestDespite the confusion taunting layout of this escape-the-room game, it's played by the same rules: click arrows that pop-up on the edges of the screen to move about and, when you find something that seems to stand out in this monochromatic world, you can click on it to zoom in for a better look or to pick it up. The three items you find here are not only useful, they are essential to your sanity. Helpful guides, they'll provide the clues you need to get your bearings, solve the puzzles and find your way out.

Until you reach the box containing your first clue, if you're easily panicked by enclosed spaces or have a phobia of being trapped in a maze, it could prove an extremely frustrating experience. Often those things that are most challenging, though, are the most rewarding and engaging. Escape from the Strange Forest takes all that is good about Hottategoya's triplex fashion of puzzle presentation and elevates it to an escape that is a refreshing take on the genre. By staying in the moment and paying heed to your map, you can find the open doorway at the end of the tunnel and another victory to notch into your surreal adventure belt.

Play Escape from the Strange Forest

Walkthrough Guide

(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

Escape from the Strange Forest Walkthrough

Begin: Find the Red Box

  1. From the starting point (A-6), go...

    • east once

    • then south once.

  2. Here you'll see a red box at the end of the path. Open it:

  3. The receipt of this map is your first puzzle (not counting finding it in the first place). Use it to find your way to the next box.

Map 1: Finding the Green Box

  1. Using MAP 1 you found in the red box, follow the directions to go from point 1 to point 8 in order.

    • Screenshot: Map 1
      Note that the map wraps, so that path A connects to path A, path E to path E, and so on. A, B and C run north and south. D, E, and F run east and west.


      Starting at the red box, move...

      1. NORTH to B-1

      2. NORTH to B-2

      3. EAST to F-3

      4. EAST to F-4

      5. NORTH to A-5

      6. NORTH to A-6

      7. WEST to D-7

      8. SOUTH to C-8

  2. When you follow the directions correctly, you'll come to another dead end in the path. Here is a green box:

  3. This map provides the next puzzle; use the images to find you way around through the next part of the maze.

Map 2: Finding the Blue Box

  1. Using MAP 2 from the green box, follow the images to travel through the forest maze until you reach the blue box.

    • Screenshot: Map 2
      Note that the icons on MAP 2 represent the layout of certain locations within the forest, yet they're not always the proper orientation.


      Open the spoilers for more explanation of the clues. Starting at the green box, move...

      1. NORTH

        • Notice there are two trees missing at the top path. That matches the Top Right icon on the map exactly. So, follow the arrow...

      2. EAST

        • Now the path runs only one direction and there is a tree it routes around, like in the Bottom Right icon on the map, except rotated 180 degrees. You'll need to go the opposite direction to match it...

      3. WEST

        • The path here exactly matches the icon in the middle of MAP 2.

      4. WEST

        • Here is just like the first part of the maze, matching the Top Right icon, except rotated 90 degrees to the left.

      5. NORTH

        • This is a rotation of the Bottom Left icon...

      6. EAST

        • Bottom Right icon, exactly.

      7. EAST

        • Top Left icon, rotated to the left.

      8. SOUTH

        • Top Right icon, rotated right...

      9. SOUTH

        • Now you should be at the blue box.

  2. When you correctly follow the clues in MAP 2, you'll arrive at the blue blox. Zoom in and open it:

    • Take out MAP 3.

Map 3: Escaping the Strange Forest

  1. Use the map you found from the blue box to not only lead you out of the maze, but to help you gather important clues for the exit code.

    • Screenshot: Map 3
      Just like with MAP 1, the letters indicate connecting paths, yet the paths also twist/reverse as you travel down them.

  2. First, gather some clues...


      Starting at the blue box, move around to each number, making a note of the design in the grass at each spot...

      1. North, East twice, South twice and then West to #1 (moon).

      2. East, North, East, North and East to #2 (star)

      3. West three times to #3 (moon)

      4. East, South, West three times, then South twice to #4 (x)

      5. North three times to #5 (dot)

      6. South, West, North, West, South, and East twice to #6 (moon)

  3. Then, find the stairs which lead down to the exit door...


      You can infer from the design, that the only path without a known factor at this point is the one straight up the middle of the map. So, starting at spot #6 on the map, go...

      West, North, East twice, North, West, and then North all the way until you see stairs leading down.

  4. Once you reach the stairway, go down and examine the door.

    • You need to push the four buttons in the same order as they're seen on the map.

      Screenshot: Exit Code

      moon, star, moon, x, dot, moon

    • When correct, you'll hear the door unlock.

  5. Step back, open the door, and go through to the clearing!



Interesting, though the second part really wrings out my spatial sense. Those who don't enjoy maze-ing may be dizzied. Kind of a plain end screen. I really like this concept!


I very nearly rage quit at first. I just kept wandering around aimlessly and the fact that the first maze wraps around was frustrating. But after getting past the first hurdle the second two mazes were much easier for me. Nice original concept and a nice challenge for such a simple setting.


What I don't get is how you're supposed to find the red box in the first place. I mean, are there any clues as to its location? Or do you just run around and hope you find it?

I've already beaten the game, it's just frustrating not knowing if there's some way of finding the first box other than by blind chance.

LightWarriorK April 25, 2013 9:08 AM

I think this game suffers from "Lost Woods" syndrome.

Anyone who has played the NES Zelda game knows that when you come across 4 paths in a woods, it's going to repeat. Not so the case here, which may throw a lot of us older folks off. Once I saw that the paths were different, I started drawing a map, and thus got my bearings.


the first box

Wandering around randomly, most things are + interesections. If you go in one direction for a while, you never hit an edge, which would indicate it wraps. Your wandering will lead you to the T intersections, which should make you wonder what is in the direction the path doesn't go, and then follow th path up and around, which will lead you to the red box.


Out... quite an original one, and very logical once you get the trick...

Paris : just like a fine summer day


Very nice! It's rare to see non-euclidean geometry used in such a simple and transparent way, I relaly liked it.

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawm8vg29wyZBrbXNzhSD68L_izyxkefvidM April 26, 2013 10:04 AM

Very enjoyable! I did not have to use a walkthrough at all, and all of the logic made perfect sense.

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnC9294DM_yVDRlHEdymPND7s_FBv7jehQ April 26, 2013 2:16 PM

Once you stumble across the first box the rest is fun and easy. Just messing around until you find the first box is rather disconcerting though.


Great, original game! A bit too many spoilers in the description here though for my taste.


I enjoyed the straight logic. Once I figured out the first set, it all made perfect sense. I enjoy the escape games where everything makes perfect sense. :D

nerdypants April 28, 2013 9:47 PM

Great game! I'd like to point out that the game seems to have been changed so that the starting point is the red box, meaning you don't have to wander around aimlessly until you find it.

JetSetVegas April 29, 2013 6:13 PM

It was ok. Have to admire the game maker for trying something different, but was a little bit too "insider" for my taste.


A nice 3 part puzzle. It would be cool if there were some interactive part at the end. 4/5.


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