No Place Like Home
They say home is where the heart is, and in the case of No Place Like Home by Sachka and Ray, it looks like your heart has pretty low standards. In this escape game, you find yourself unable to sleep in a room that has definitely seen better days. You're restless; you've read all your books before, and the television keeps playing the same movie over and over. Yet you can't leave... for a number of reasons. Click around to explore and use the arrows at the edge of the screen to navigate. When you pick up an item, you can double-click it in your inventory to examine it more closely, something you'll need to do to to solve a few particular puzzles and combine certain objects. Since the game doesn't repeat text, you can click on "..." in the lower right above your inventory to scroll through a log of everything you've read so far.
Despite the vaguely unsettling vibe the game gives off (or maybe even a little because of it), No Place Like Home is a beautiful game wrapped up in an engrossing atmosphere that perfectly draws you into the sad, scattered brain of the main character. It's also fairly difficult, no thanks to a lack of changing cursor that can leave you click-click-clicking around when you're stuck, but also because the puzzles can be a bit abstract and require quite a bit of fiddling with your inventory. What makes it great, however, is the way the story and setting creep up on you as you explore your dingy little world bit by bit. It's a great example of telling a narrative through your environment, using setting and clues rather than simply setting the player down and explaining everything. While it may require more than a little thought (you asked for a brain, didn't you?), and a dose of patience besides, No Place Like Home is a challenging, beautiful escape game that expertly weaves story and gameplay together for a great experience.