Pearl Room Escape
Summer is the perfect time to escape to a tropical seaside, sip an umbrella-sporting cocktail, and—why, not?—go diving for pearls. Too bad the door to your hotel room won't budge and you're trapped, only able to gaze longingly out the window at the deep blue waters and lush palm forest, your only company being a mean-looking piranha. What kind of twisted operation puts piranhas in their guest rooms? Apparently it's the same kind of hotel that forces patrons to plunder their rooms searching for keys to doors locked from the outside. Don't trouble yourself by asking more questions because the soothing atmosphere and quiet surroundings make this scenario a happy one. So begins Pearl Room Escape, the most recent release by TomaTea who is proving to be an up-and-coming star in the genre.
Described by the developer as a "five-minutes room escape game," Pearl Room Escape is not short on pleasing visuals, intuitively logical puzzles or enjoyment. The room is decorated in relaxing aquamarine and soft peach-colored accents. Dolphin statues, jars of colorful pearls, and a cool ceiling fan add to the mood of warm-weather relaxation. Keeping with the theme, collecting pearls is counted as one of the puzzles and finding solutions requires very little note-taking as per the "five-minutes" epithet. While not all players will make their way out within the abbreviated time frame as advertised, the game is leisurely enough for anyone to dive into, providing a vacation from the ordinary milieu.
Like previous TomaTea games such as Orient Express Night and Blossom Spring Escape, the changing cursor is notably absent from Pearl Room Escape. This shouldn't be a problem, though; the environment is bright, crisp and well-designed, making pixel hunting unnecessary (although tempting at times). Usually, puzzle pieces are often obvious even if the solutions are not. Also missing is music or ambient noise, which might be a disappointment to some: the ocean view is diminished without the accompanying roar of waves crashing on the shore. Instead, sound effects consist merely of an occasional chime when an inventory item is first discovered. Door handles do not rattle and silence is the only response to an incorrectly-entered code.
Yet despite rigidly unchanging cursors, disobliging sound effects, or toothy fish who intercept players' pearl retrieval efforts, TomaTea provides assistance with the "I have no clue how to solve this" message, which goes a long way toward directing escapers toward puzzles we're equipped to solve and those that have yet uncovered clues. Inventory items are on ready display needing only a simple click to use or examine. As for other features, anyone whose first reaction upon opening a game is to click the "mute" button will be glad for the lack of background music. On the other hand, busy-types who are routinely interrupted might mourn the absence of a save button.
Initially, Pearl Room Escape may seem too short or lacking in features to garner much attention, yet this mini-escape is a true pearl of delight. It might not be long before TomaTea is ranked near such room escaping jewels as Tesshi-E, Robamini, and Neutral. TomaTea has been consistent in presenting eye-pleasing, cogent, amusing escape games and Pearl Room Escape is no small reminder of that potential. You won't want to overlook this little gem!