It can't be easy to always be on the road. The constant back and forth between locations, the many nights away from home, the endless string of bland hotel rooms; after a while, even the smallest bit of extra hospitality might be enough to make your day. It's nice when hotels go the extra mile, right? A fruit basket, super-fluffy towels, maybe a glass of complimentary champagne…lovely. In all seriousness, though, I think that the good folks over at G-Sensor, the new escape game from Japanese developer HILG, have gone just a wee bit overboard in their eagerness to please their patrons.
As the game begins, you, an unnamed business-person, have just checked into your room at Uncle Boo's Hotel. You see a questionnaire on the desk; it thanks you for your stay and asks if you have any demands. Cheekily, you write that you wish to be placed into a "safe room" (an odd request, to be sure) and, exhausted, promptly fall into bed. Just as you drift off to sleep, a strange voice echoes in your head: "Certainly, Sir." The next morning, you wake in a different place altogether! It certainly is "safe"; locked up tight, you'll need to solve puzzles and figure out the mechanisms of the room in order to escape. It was nice of the hotel to honor your request so thoroughly…but really, couldn't they have left you the key?
G-Sensor has many of the qualities of a great escape game. It's clear that, especially in regards to the game's puzzles, HILG had some really creative ideas; the last major puzzle in particular I found to be innovative and exciting. That being said, it seems that at times the game does not possess the necessary clues to make the logical leap from problem to solution (this is despite an in-game hint system, which I found to be nearly useless). There are many intelligent and interesting puzzle elements embedded into G-Sensor, but this lack of logical fluidity makes it harder to fully appreciate them. Happily, however, while the game can sometimes be unnecessarily frustrating, it never becomes unplayable and always remains entertaining.
The game's graphics are pretty good, if a bit bland in color, and I'm not sure that they explain G-Sensor's surprisingly long load time. The interface is simple, classic point-and-click, and the inventory system is easy to use. The game does have a bit of pixel-hunting, but nothing terribly excessive; make sure to click all the obvious angles and you should be fine. There's a save feature, which is nice, and the background music can be toggled on and off. As I mentioned earlier, the game does have a hint system; it seems sporadic at best, however, and the Japanese-to-English translation (specifically in the hint system, the rest of the game is okay) isn't great. On a related note, although some of G-Sensor's loading text is in English, make sure to press the language selection button before beginning the game. The button will say "Japanese" when you first see the loading screen; pressing it will change it to "English."
Despite not having quite the professional polish of some other high-quality room escape games, G-Sensor is nonetheless solid, well-plotted and very enjoyable; what deficiencies may exist are mainly made up for by the game's excellent puzzles. So, let's help this hapless traveler: