When we reviewed The Final Spell in March, one of developer Zibumi's previous escape-the-room games, it was met with a mixed reception; some players really enjoyed the game's levity and ease, while others criticized the lack of polish and depth. Happily, the fine people at Zibumi seem to be quick learners! Their newest release, Little Hostage, preserves the finer points of Final Spell while adding complexity and cleverness. While still not excessively challenging, Little Hostage is a fun, satisfying game perfect for a coffee break or random escape-the-room craving.
Little Hostage further continues the saga of Tom "Tucker" Crubucker, the plump, perenially-perturbed-looking magician-in-training. After celebrating the successful completion of his exams (a la the end of The Final Spell), Tom wakes to find himself locked in a small, rather eclectically-furnished apartment. He will, once again, need your help to escape (and find out who is holding him in captivity!). The puzzles are on the whole fairly simple, though the designers have thrown in a few rather clever touches that hold the player's interest and add depth to an otherwise straightforward task; one involving a mechanical hula doll especially made me happy.
While I have a deep appreciation for ingenious enigmas and love unraveling a seemingly impossible puzzle (see: Jess's next review), sometimes it's really nice to play something well-designed, entertaining but not-too-tough. Little Hostage will probably be completely by veteran escape-the-room artists in 30 minutes or so, and those new to the genre will find it to be a relatively accessible introduction to the beautiful world of point-and-click. All in all, it's definitely worth your time.
Help the hapless would-be Houdini.