It's not often that we find profundity in a room escape, with some rare exceptions. Puzzles, yes. Lots of random objects, certainly. Strange devices, almost inevitably. But a series of room escapes that use the idea of an exploration of the solar system as a metaphor for searching deep within a strange house (or perhaps deep within the human psyche)? Well, there's one out there, a series of escapes by the fantastic GUMP and they have finally hit (after a nearly 2 year wait) with the next installment in their backwards journey through the solar system, Jupiter.
The pink haired boy is back, and having traversed Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn (along with his silver flying tentacle companion) he must now tackle the most difficult room of the journey so far. Jupiter is set in a hexagonal shaped room where our hero and his mysterious (and malleable) sidekick must solve quite a few logic problems to continue their journey. Jupiter is packed with lots of tricky puzzles, as each room is a progression not only further into this amazing house but a progression in difficulty. Along for the ride is some haunting music, the usual stark backgrounds, and some pretty amazing cut-scenes. Will this journey ever end? Will the boy find his way to the heart of...whatever is waiting at the end, whether it be escape or something else? The answer lies with GUMP, and they're still not talking.
The lack of a changing cursor can be a bit of a pain, creating some pixel hunting in the minimalist backgrounds, and the puzzles are fantastic, logical, and tricky. There are very few objects to find, making Jupiter more of an intellectual stretch than just "find key A and insert in slot B". And best of all GUMP is still eschewing color puzzles, so the game can be enjoyed by all. Well, all who have a really good sense of spatial reasoning and the ability to think their way through some of the more esoteric puzzles.
For those who love this particular series of room escapes Jupiter is a welcome addition to the set, much more challenging than the ones that came before, and even more unsettling as the player is drawn even further into this odd, sterile, mechanical house. For those looking for more than a "5 minute and out" challenge, you'll be pleased with GUMP's fantastic escape game design.