Everything about Robamimi's elegant escape game Nine Shelves seems designed to lull you into soothing complacency. Sure, you could click around to gather items and solve puzzles using clues and brain power... but listen to those birds. That delicate piano. Check out that... uh... shelf full of random junk. That chain and... pulley system? Well... okay. So maybe this place doesn't have everything a person needs to get by, unless you're some evolved life form that can subsist entirely on relaxing background music, but it does have some sleek and sly puzzles to go with its lovely atmosphere, and that's good enough for me.
My favourite types of escape games are the ones that forgo any real setup and just drop you in a place filled with puzzles, with a greater focus more on deduction and reasoning than simply cobbling items together to get past obstacles. Not everyone appreciates this admittedly random approach to the concept, and it does mean that the sheer variety of puzzles and items can be a bit baffling at first since none of them are really intended to function as they would in real life. While some things are clearly stated or otherwise obvious in their use or meaning, others require more interpretation, and the included hint function is only slightly helpful. There's only one way out, and it sort of makes me wonder if Robamimi isn't secretly a Bond villain, but Nine Shelves is a lovely, relaxing way to get a break from your day... provided you're the sort of person who finds clutching a flower pot, a swim mask, and an iron weight to your chest while moaning "what does it mean" relaxing.
Thanks to Cyberjar88 for sending this one in!