Escape the room genre is one of those casual spin-offs of full scale adventure games, born with the rise of Flash-based games. Since then it has become a beloved pastime for many office employees and after a while, found its way to the App Store as well. Unfortunately the quality of these titles on the iDevice differs wildly (remember Escape the Room: Magician’s WC (TMA Review)?) But Escape the room 2 is a whole other kettle of fish, having some serious muscle behind it from Tate Games, the dev team responsible for the excellent RPG Crimson Gem Saga (TMA Review).
Escape the room 2 (Etr2) is a classic member of the escape the room genre (hence the name). You wake up dazed and confused in a mysterious room with a couple of strangers that describe your appalling situation. You have been implanted with a bomb that will detonate very soon unless you find a way to get out of the building. And on your way out, you will discover the true reason why you’ve been “chosen” for this trial.
Unlike most escape the room games, Etr2 is split into about a dozen separate stages with a limited time available to solve each one. The stages usually consists of one or two rooms, though sometimes it can contain up to a dozen. The puzzles aren’t too difficult, though they require for a frustrating amount of pixel hunting. Most involve locating codes for various locks in the rooms, but the game does have quite a few creative ones as well. And the powerful inventory system, including the option to examine, combine and separate items add to the experience as well.
In addition to the quite straightforward goal of getting out of your predicament, you will encounter along the way secondary goals, often requiring you to make some moral choices. And I would advise to study the environment as well, as it sometimes holds clues to the backstory of your protagonist as well as some hints about the captors. Additionally some optional stuff is hidden in the levels, including keys to unlock bonus levels and various usable hints, like highlighting all the hidden objects on the scene or magically solving the current puzzle altogether. While this seems to be quite a useful option, the fact that most of the time you can only get the hints using in-app purchases, throws a shadow on the developer’s noble intentions.
The graphics in Etr2 look quite nice and Ms. White is downright gorgeous. However the game suffers from some issues on the technical side of things. First of all, I’ve encountered several crashes while playing the game. Even more frustratingly due to some weird bug, I was stuck once in a stage after having solved the puzzle because of a missing graphic. However, once I replayed the stage from scratch, the issue seemed to fix itself. The controls aren’t too well thought out as well, with an annoying amount of pixel hunting and only a limited hotspot highlighting (yep, you’ll have to spend your hard earned cash here).
Escape the room 2 is a very nice member of the genre, heads and shoulders above almost all similar titles on the App Store. With a streamlined storyline, good amount of stages with optional and secret ones and diverse puzzles, it will surely please any fan of the genre. Unfortunately some technical glitches and a poorly polished interface may become a barrier for the more casual players to fully enjoy the game.
With this I declare Escape the room 2 officially touched!
|Title:||Escape the room 2||Developer:||Nate Games|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.0.0||Min OS Req:||3.0|