Word riddles are often fun, challenging ways to stretch your mind. Room escape games also serve the same function. But what happens when you combine word riddles with a room escape? You get the latest iteration of an old favorite, New Who Am I? by Robamimi, one of the better room escape designers working today.
The original was a cute little game, but it had some flaws. Rather than just leave it be, Robamimi actually redesigned and retooled the game into a remake, one of the most popular room escape games of 2009. Now Who Am I? is back again with a completely new central riddle and escape.
New Who Am I? is a classic one room escape. There's of course a few furnishings, of course, and plenty of puzzles to work your way around as you find helpful objects and also collect "Hint Cards". Collect five to help you solve the central riddle, namely, who you are. Despite the shortness of the game and the smallness of the space there's still quite a bit of puzzle solving fun packed within the four walls.
There's not a whole lot of navigating to be done, but what there is can be accomplished by red arrows that appear at the sides of the screen. Items picked up go into an inventory at the right of the screen. Using or examining these items are simple with Robamimi's two-toned inventory control. Each item has a background of white at the top and green at the bottom. Click on the white area and you can examine the item, click on the green and use it, quite simple. Hint cards can be pulled up from the inventory and scrolled through with a handy arrow button as well. Most thankfully, there is a changing cursor that indicates hotspots to be investigated, so the pixel hunting is at a minimum in this delightful little game. You will even find a helpful hint button in the game which will nudge you along if you get stuck.
The backgrounds are Robamimi's usual "plastic" 3D rendered style, and feature the return of the charming little screwdriver-loving marionette from Who Am I? (Remake). There's a generic tune playing in the background which can helpfully be muted, and there's even a save button if you want to stop halfway and go back later. Despite the fact that this is a Japanese game, there is an English version. Just remember to switch it to English at the title screen before you start the game.
Analysis: Robamimi rarely disappoints and the New Who Am I? is no exception. A little shorter than usual for Robamimi's work, but nonetheless lots of casual gameplay fun is here to be had. Perfect for a short break, most gamers will find themselves out in ten minutes or less. It's worth playing just for the final puzzle, which is something you might not expect to have to do in an escape title.
Other than the short length there's little to complain about. Most of the puzzles are straightforward and logical, the central "Who Am I?" riddle makes a nice change from the standard room escape, and the little marionette is a nice touch as he becomes central to the action. Perhaps the only downside is the music which can get annoying pretty quickly. Fortunately, it is also easily muted so as to not provoke homicidal rage. There is one puzzle which is color based, which might make playing difficult for those with color-blindness. The translation is pretty good, but there are a few rough spots to be found. Regardless, Robamimi has once again presented us with some fun for your morning.
It's time for the mid-week break from the every day, time for some personal reflection, and time to fire up the little gray cells and figure out, who am I, really?