Lo.Nyan's Room Escape 10
As soon as you click past the opening title, you realize Lo.Nyan's Room Escape 10 is an escape game in more than one sense of the word. First, in the most basic sense, the premise—you are locked inside a room and must use your wits and logic to work your way out. Added to that are gorgeous surroundings, a generous suite poshly appointed in modern décor, and you know your experience here has turned into a mini-break: an escape from the standard milieu. You suddenly feel you have won a contest you didn't even enter, one in which a funny little cat and very nervous toy robot whisked you away to a seaside sanctuary, and think to not bother solving the puzzles set before you. Yet every surface invites exploration and, as you explore, you find clues tempting you to open locks and discover more swanky scenes.
As elegantly out-of-the-ordinary this escape is, it's still played the usual way. Click to navigate the room, pick up items and explore your inventory. Arrows that appear at the sides or bottom of the screen indicate where you can turn or back-up. While the cursor is unchanging, a clean design promises no pixel hunts. Unless you can read Japanese, some actions are left to inference and, adding to the exploratory feel, there are several areas where you can look yet not all hide something functional. In this way, discoveries feel more like discoveries as you probe your surroundings. If taking screenshots is your usual methodology for escaping, Lo.Nyan has you in mind for the user-friendly camera feature: take snapshots of certain areas then pull-up those pictures when solving visual puzzles. Because this feature also gives away what is a clue and what isn't, don't pick up the camera if you want a more challenging experience. Even so, this installment is easier than the previous one as each clue leads smoothly into the next.
It's so pretty, with so many interesting pieces of furniture and art, you might be disappointed that you can't zoom some areas for better appreciation. It's on that downside that a hard-to-distinguish area leaves you guessing what works—at least, if you've found the secret item and are going for the perfect end. Which leads to the other drawback: since there's no save feature, you'll have to play twice to get both endings. Yet it's such a welcome delight to experience a full-on room escape, one with multiple rooms, atmospherically-presented clues and a progression of tactile puzzles, a few flaws hardly mar the glossy surface. It does leave you wishing for an English translation and might even inspire you to imagine a future Lo.Nyan's escape that can stand among the ranks of a Neutral or Tesshi-e creation. In the meantime, set aside 30 minutes-ish before you begin so you can take your time, chill in front of the tranquil vista and fully enjoy a deluxe vacation from normality.