Sagrario's Room Escape
All room escape games have secrets. Some room escapes, however, keep their cards especially close to their chests, relinquishing their grasp bit by bit; these are sometimes the most frustrating, and often the most intriguing. Sagrario's Room Escape is such a game, and a superb one at that.
The first thing you'll probably notice is how very bare the room seems. Designer Valentin Sagrario has chosen a decidedly minimalist aesthetic; the small, warmly beige space contains nothing but a door, a chair, a picture and a metal briefcase. Well... that's not entirely true. Upon a second glance, you might begin to perceive small, easily overlooked details: the faint outlines of panels against one wall, a scrap of paper, a loose floorboard. Once you really begin to look, you'll be astonished at how much this ostensibly near-empty room does, in fact, hold; the simplicity of the space belies the true complexity of the puzzles contained within.
Ah, the puzzles. Sagrario's inventiveness is definitely impressive; the number, quality and variety of puzzles are top-notch. I experienced more than a few wonderful "aha!" flashes of sudden insight; those sorts of moments are the mark of a really great escape game, one that effectively straddles the line between logic and perplexity. Notable is that maybe more than any other room escape, Sagrario's Room makes great usage of the inventory; you'll find yourself frequently combining items, manipulating and using them in multiple fashions. This is probably a byproduct of the relative spareness of the room itself, and one that I really enjoyed.
As excellent as Sagrario's Room is, a few areas could use some tweaking. First, while it's not terribly excessive, there are a few instances of frustrating pixel-hunting. The interface can be a little bit annoying, as it's not possible to change views while an object is selected; this doesn't make sense, and ultimately just results in a lot of excess clicking. Some sort of soundtrack would have been nice, and would have really added to the room's overall atmosphere. Finally, I had a difficult time identifying a couple of the collected items, which (especially considering how important the inventory is) at times significantly delayed my progress. For this reason I suggest, when stuck, trying to combine everything with everything else; even if A and B do not appear to have any relationship, using one with the other might be a vital step in escaping.
These minor complains aside, Sagrario's Room is really wonderful. The game's graphics are some of the best in any room escape, comparable to the sublime Vision; for that reason, even this minimally decorated space appears elegant and chic. The puzzles are creative, complex and extremely enjoyable. Oh! One more thing: although there's not an actual save button, the game remembers your progress and, upon your return, gives you the option to continue or begin a new game. As Sagrario's Room is quite long and difficult, the existence of this feature is a relief, and also bespeaks the professionalism of the game's creator.
Polished, perplexing and profoundly entertaining: a near-perfect escape game.