Escape From The
There are many things people try to escape from. Boredom. Work. Prison. Responsibilities. Meetings. In-Laws. It's not often, though, that you'll find yourself attempting to escape from an industrial hole in the ground. Unless you weren't watching where you were walking, that is. Welcome to Escape from the Underground Space!
Created by Tesshi-e, maker of Escape from the Living Room... No, wait! Don't run away! It's different, promise! At any rate, created by Tesshi-e, maker of Escape from the Living Room, Escape from the Underground Space is a light, fun escape that leans heavily on the uses of found objects rather than puzzle solving, although there are a few puzzles as well.
You start in a bare (well, nearly bare) underground space. Despite the barren appearance there are lots of things to find and manipulate. Already figured your way out? Found the "quickie" escape? (Yes, there is one.) Go back and see if you can discover another way.
It soon becomes clear that, despite a few nice decorative touches, you are not in a living space. Can you get the door open? No. Can you get to the concrete catwalk above? That depends on how good you are at combining objects and reasoning. For those who enjoy "how can I use this object" scenarios then this is the game for you.
Analysis: Once again Tesshi-e has created a lovely 3D background to wander in. Lighting effects are sharp and clear enough to make you feel the heat. Navigation is smooth and easy, with bars appearing along the top, bottom, and sides of the screen to help move you around. The pixel hunting, one of the major complaints of Escape from the Living Room, has been done away with. It is much easier to find hot-spots and manipulate items this time around. Yes, there is some item construction, but it is very intuitive and flows along with the storyline of the escape. No cars made from cell phones here!
There are a few minor problems. Some of the hot-spots are very close to the navigation bars, making it easy to accidently move away when you meant to pick something up. The music is a nice light jazzy number, but if you are in the game for longer than five minutes you might be grateful for the provided mute button.
Inventory control is simple and functional, with items handily displayed on-screen and an "about item" button to bring any one of them into close-up. The escape itself, even the longest scenario, is pretty simple. A little more complexity might have been nice. A save game feature would also have been welcome.
Each time around, though, Tesshi-e's designs are getting better and better. This one features three different ways to escape and four different endings (at least that I found). Perhaps it's not the best or most complicated escape game out there, but it can be a quick, easy, entertaining diversion in the middle of the week. Escape from the Underground Space is a fun way to kill some time, be it on a coffee break or just taking 10-15 minutes away from whatever you're doing. Take a break, and enjoy the escape!
[Note: Though Escape From The Underground Space is not completely translated, but it is playable without any knowledge of the language. While item descriptions and most messages are in Japanese, the puzzles are in English.]