Mild Escape 7
Is it officially a new year, really, if we haven't celebrated with Tesshi-e's yearly Mild Escape game? I say to thee nay, but now that Mild Escape 7 is finally here, we can break out the streamers and confetti! Each year, as the narrator tells us at the start, we find ourselves back at a particular door in this series of escape games, and this time is no different. Click your way around the room to explore and interact while some evocative piano music makes you feel weirdly nostalgic and melancholy. If you highlight an item in your inventory, you can click "about item" to view it up close and try to manipulate it, or just click in the area you're exploring to try to use it there. Some objects in your surroundings can't be carried or picked up, but if you click and hold on them, a closer or alternate view might be displayed.
Like any good Tesshi-e game worth its salt, Mild Escape 7 is all about finding clues to solve the puzzle locks in your way. Though not as obscure or misleading as some other escape developers, Tesshi-e has managed to craft puzzles that feel logical and challenging in a way that encourages you to think about the information you have rather than simply resorting to the old point-and-click standby of desperately clicking everything on everything else. In most cases, following your gut instinct to use or solve something winds up being accurate, which shows a developer who thinks about the player's potential thought patterns, rather than expecting you to interpret their own. The atmosphere is particularly lovely, with nice touches such as the persistent and accurate reflections of objects and points of light adding to the subtle detail. The game says "happy coin will bring happiness to you", but if you're a fan of escape games, then Tesshi-e is probably always a bearer of good tidings as well, with Mild Escape 7 another jewel in the crown... a crown so jewel encrusted at this point it's probably causing some series neck strain, but heavy is the head and all that.
Thanks to Cyberjar 88 for sending this one in!