Welcome back, Petithima! We have missed you here at Weekday Escape! Yes, this week's adventure in mid-week escaping is from the fabulous Petithima, who has graced us with a delightful little confection called simply Room 9. Why Room 9 you might ask? Does the title hint at some mysterious prison on the coast of Wales where everyone is only known by a number? Is it an homage to the worst movie ever made? Or, just possibly, is it because it is Petithima's 9th room escape effort? You decide.
Navigation in this lovely room is accomplished by arrows at the sides, top, and bottom of the screen, as well as with close-ups indicated by the changing cursor. Once again we have no set-up or backstory, just a simple room done up in lovely shades of tan and brown. The objective is, as per usual with this sort of thing, to pick up anything not nailed down, figure out how to use it, solve a few puzzles, and make your way to the clean, non-incensed air of the outside. Seriously, that piggy incense burner is cute and all, but if you can't crack a window then a room like this could become problematic for folks with allergies or asthma. Just saying, in case you take it into your head to lock a friend, relative, acquaintance, or total stranger into a trick room and make them solve their way out. That wouldn't be very nice.
The wonderful thing about Petithima's designs is the simplicity evident in every aspect. A simple room design; simple, easy to understand controls; and simple puzzles when added together make for a wonderful experience that is not too heavy on the palate. Game designers who concentrate too heavily on only one aspect of their room escapes, be it the backgrounds (gorgeous backgrounds hiding inferior or illogical puzzles), the controls (a nice escape experience can be ruined by hard to decipher controls or pixel hunting), or just puzzles (astoundingly difficult puzzles but no logic or flow to the escape itself) risk creating an unbalanced and occasionally unpleasant experience for room escape fans. Fortunately we have games like Room 9 to fall back on, secure in the knowledge that the escaping fun will be logical, amusing, and flow easily from one challenge to the next.
Some folks don't like room escapes that are this short and easy, but take it from someone who knows: size isn't everything. A quick five minutes and out game can be just as satisfying as the longer, more complicated escapes as long as it is done well, and Petithima does quick and easy exceedingly well. The only real criticism you can level against this charming escape is the fact that at least one puzzle is color-based, thus making it through to the outside might be a tad difficult for those who have visual problems. True escape aficionados will appreciate the balance evident in this delightfully amusing mid-week escape from the everyday.