Somewhat ironically, it appears not possible to escape the
‘escape room’ craze. Following flooding the likes of Steam as a puzzle game
sub-genre (though we’d argue the initially series of The Crystal Maze, which
aired in 1990, is exactly where the idea started), escape rooms now cover just about every medium
imaginable, books and board games integrated.
Occasionally You’s most recent indie release goes a single step additional,
presenting a magical tower with six floors. Every single has its personal set of intricate,
multifaceted, puzzles to crack prior to an exit unlocks.
There are no grounds for failure (study: no ‘Game Over’
screens), so you are totally free to mull factors more than, ransack the inventory, and abuse
the hint program till a figurative light bulb seems.
Playing as a thief, your quest starts on the best floor – the
resting spot of a sacred potions book. Magical contents aside, this is no
ordinary tome. Initially mistaken as a witch by the ne’er-do-effectively who place you
up to the nefarious job of stealing it, the book possesses the uncanny potential
Following spending numerous years beneath lock and important, Beatrice
– as the book is identified – has grow to be delightfully eccentric. She babbles on
nonsensically, cracks jokes, and praises/insults your progress in pretty much equal
measure. Sadly, there’s no voice acting and a couple of typos have crept in through
translation from the developer’s native tongue (Russian) to English. The game’s
simple presentation is at least reflected by the price tag – a mere £4.99.
Throughout Beatrice’s absence, a couple of freeloading demons have
moved into the tower, which you can also converse with. This assists give every single
space a welcome sense of character. In a single space a giant snow demon blocks the
door – discovering a way to disrupt their sleep is just the tip of the ice burg.
A further space is property to an elderly spider who’s proud to present you with a
tiny handmade cloak. Tiny, but nonetheless valuable. Every single item serves a goal,
fortunately – there are no red herrings right here. There are some red peppers,
having said that, which should be fed to a snail to generate makeshift glue.
Not all puzzles showcase a related level of ingenuity, as
most rooms include a couple of tropes. Puzzles inside Beatrice’s art space centre upon
mixing paints to generate specific colours, there are a couple of sliding tile puzzles –
albeit with minor variations on the theme – and a single instance of arranging a set
of diverse sized gears. Gathering a specific quantity of hidden objects (the
aforementioned gears, leaves, fireflies, and so on) also plays a element, a couple of of which
are hidden a small also effectively.
The potion book assists to induce an further layer of depth to
puzzle-solving, placing a twist on factors. The inventory bar consists of a
cauldron to chuck seemingly random things into, with Beatrice giving the
ingredient lists for every single potion. One particular early puzzle entails reanimating a
hamster through the ‘Potion of Life’ so that it can create energy with its wheel.
As we stated, there are a couple of effectively-worn suggestions.
Largely, even though, every single space has adequate depth and selection to
give a substantial challenge. Apart from the initially floor – which teaches the
fundamentals and outlines the premise, as you’d anticipate – the remaining 5 rooms
took us anyplace from 30-60 minutes to comprehensive, gradually peeling away their
layers to at some point reveal a indicates of escape. You are hunting at a superior three-four
hours of play right here.
Aside from a couple of situations of warped logic, there’s
one more spanner in the performs – the handle scheme. The mouse-driven point and
click interface from the Computer version has been simplified additional, forcing you to
cycle back and forth by means of all interactive objects, a single at a time, by
flicking the analogue stick. It is a weird choice as Artifex Mundi’s hidden
object puzzle games – pretty much twenty of which are accessible on consoles – all
use a point and click interface, with the analogue stick moving a cursor about
Even though The Tower of Beatrice’s set-up does make it challenging to
overlook things that can be interacted with – which is probably what the
developers had been aiming for – it also indicates you should frequently flick previous dozens of
objects to get to the item or place you want. A fair couple of puzzles also
involve grids, and as such, you should painstakingly flick by means of just about every single
square. Now bear in thoughts that some puzzles are of the trial-and-error selection
due to their obscurity or vagueness. That is a lot of aimless/surplus flicking,
and as a outcome, it is a set-up that is not as intuitive as its Computer counterpart.
In truth, just after comparing footage to the Computer version it
seems a couple of puzzles had been removed as they wouldn’t have worked with no a
conventional point and click interface. Superior that than attempt and shoehorn them
in, we suppose.
If it wasn’t for the handle scheme, we wouldn’t hesitate to
describe The Tower of Beatrice as getting smartly developed. With out spoiling
something, the final two rooms place an unexpected spin on factors, top to some
quite clever puzzles when adding a significantly-required sense of urgency. That stated, we
did locate ourselves fumbling by means of puzzles extra frequently towards the finish, with
‘eureka moments’ becoming significantly less prevalent.
In spite of the adventure getting confined to a tower, we did really feel
as if we had been on a journey when the ending credits rolled, and this alone
is adequate to advise The Tower of Beatrice to anyone hunting to escape
life’s grind for a couple of hours.