Once again we come to that time in the week that I like to call "Wednesday." You might have heard of it before? No? Okay then, sit right here beside me and let me explain: This is the day that men, women and children around the world everywhere gather to pay homage to an entity called The Escape Game. In this universally uplifting ritual, we play at being trapped inside a room (or a boat, mushroom, or any old such thing), forced to seek out employable objects and solve random puzzles all for the sake of regaining freedom. It's pretty cool. It may be that, someday, it will help save the world. Don't believe me? Well, here then, have a look at a few samples from Hottategoya, Tototo Room, and FunkyLand, then try to tell me you still hold doubts in your heart...
Fruit Kitchens No.14: Muscat Green - If a FunkyLand game does one thing with impunity it is this: It makes all other claims to the adjective "whimsical" seem feckless and vain. Perhaps this quality is more ineffable than that, but as you poke around this cheerily verdant kitchen in pursuit of seven bunches of green grapes, don't you feel something bubbling up and making your lips twitch in a grin? I do. I want to pretend this is my kitchen, these riddles made of musical notes and colors and pink frogs all mine. It's midway down on the FunkyLand scale of game difficulty; most your efforts will likely go toward figuring out the frog and notes code but it's less devious than it first appears.
Button Escape 27 - Amongst the quirky, hand-drawn artwork of Tototo Room, eleven buttons are hidden: find and click on them. If you don't read Japanese, or even if you do, the Japanese words strewn around the room function effectively as red herrings. But there are no language barriers preventing a successful escape, only a bit of cunning and pixel hunting. Which is nice for seekers of that sort of thing, the completion of the button collection giving that silly burst of gratification that only an achievement unlocked can do, and another successful escape must surely mean something in our pursuit of escape game thrills. Right?
Escape from the Similar Rooms 16 - The beauty of this rooms-that-look-samey series is the way Hottategoya uses the beautifully rendered design to convey the puzzle clues. Figuring out each code, thus unlocking that door and escaping, depends almost entirely on your powers of observation. Ergo, it's tricky. But fair. It's easy to be caught up in the pursuit of answers and overlook just how aesthetically pleasing these minimally decorated rooms are, but the small details such as sun rays against the panels do add to the immersion factor. And it adds to the deception because those small details hide some significant clues...so look close!
We love escape games, and our readers love talking about them and sharing hints! How about you? Let us know what you think, ask for clues, or help out other players in the comments below.