Room 9 Autumn
When you just need to get away from it all without a lot of bells and whistles, you can always count on an Ichima escape to provide somewhere mellow for you to kick back with a passel of puzzles, and Room 9 Autumn is no exception. Though there's no changing cursor to tell you what to click on, the sparse, clean design holds no pixel hunting, so just explore at your own pace, using the transparent bars that appear when you mouse over the edges of the screen to navigate around the room. Don't worry... though the game's text is in Japanese, there's no language barrier for those of us who can't read the lingo. What there are, however, are a lot of very clever puzzles. Ichima excels at making games that marry just the right amount of whimsy with genuinely smart mechanics, so as you explore Room 9 Autumn, you'll need to think, but you'll also find yourself amused. There are a few puzzles where it's easy to overthink the solution, but the game is surprisingly good at never veering into obnoxiously vague or obscure territory when it comes to its clues, even with the Japanese-only text. Room 9 Autumn is a satisfying escape in all the right ways no matter what time of year it is, one that offers some pleasant surprises and never goes too easy on you, requiring thought and an eye for detail in equal measure.