Find the Escape-Men 86: Secret House 5
No1Game's Find the Escape-Men series has been going on for a long, long time, but it rarely ventures into any sort of cohesive continuity or complexity. You're in a place. So are ten little green men. Find them, solve a simple puzzle or two, and bing-bam, you're out. So it was somewhat unexpected when Secret House 1 seemed to introduce a story where you fainted on the way home from work, and Secret House 2, 3, and 4 followed right along, building a story about... well, you'll have to play for yourself to see, mostly because it's a little strange. Now the final installment is here, and in Find the Escape-Men 86: Secret House 5 your last challenge might be one of the most complex. Just click around to interact and search, and since the cursor doesn't change, you'll want to try everything from every angle... even items in your inventory can be viewed up close with the question mark icon to manipulate or combine!
As mentioned, the Escape-Men games tend to be a little overly simple, so some of the more thinky puzzles in this one come as a welcome surprise. This entire mini-series spin-off has slowly scaled up in puzzle complexity, and this last installment feels like an appropriate cap on them all by providing some challenges that are at once both satisfyingly logical and even a little sneaky. The biggest issue is that it's still easy to miss hidden angles or views because there's no visual indication that something might be there until you click, so if you're stuck or missing something, you have to resort to clicking everywhere on everything. The ending is... uh... the ending... is... something else, which is about the only way I can really describe it other than "cute", "unexpected", "weird", and "what was that I don't even". Still, as odd as it is, Secret House has showcased some great design from a series that's often been overlooked for being too fast and easy, and provides a short, fun break-sized bit of escapery goodness. Hopefully we see more of these interconnected yarns and learn a bit more about the Escape-Men, and continue to see more of this level of gameplay from the developer.