Are you guilty of a horrific crime, or not? To find out the truth you are submersed under deep hypnosis. New clues can be found in each room your subconscious creates. There is only one problem to this method. To gain the knowledge locked in the room you have to escape from it before your mind is exhausted. Forget what you know about slow calm exploration of the psyche. Time is ticking, and there is only one way out, and only one truth to find.
RoomBreak: Escape Now!! is a hardcore escape the room game. I use the term hardcore because it needs dedication, and a lot of retries to escape the more intricate traps. The term is also used because of the pace the game needs to be played at. I am used to a slow deliberate pace in an almost tranquil fashion. In RoomBreak your stamina is rapidly diminishing, and once the bars in the lower left corner are gone you are exhausted. Exhausted means game over, and you have to retry the level once more. I am of course quicker each time I retry a level in solving the first puzzles. Still once something new comes up, or I fail to find an object that darn exhausted screen gets me really annoyed. A game should give relaxation, pleasure and challenge in equal portions. Here it gives no relaxing moments, and the little pleasure I get when solving a puzzle is soon diminished when I fail to open the door on time. Challenge is the aspect where the game makes the most impact, and without using any of the “cheat” items it is a hard game.
The controls are touch based like in all escape the room games. It does however mix things up by introducing gestures, and rhythm tapping mini games when using hammers, knives and other tools. This is a nice addition, and actually helps alleviate some of the boredom I get when replaying a level. I am not too pleased with the inventory screen though that takes a lot of work to change tools in. You have to swipe a bit too excessively to change between the objects. You get the basic commands of use, combine and divide. Another annoying aspect of the controls is that you have to change to the feet action when you finally get the door open. This takes a couple of extra seconds, and I have received that horrible game over screen because of this extra step.
RoomBreak comes with five different episodes that have their own storyline, and settings. I found this to be a really great aspect of the game, as it is basically five escape games in one. The game starts with a rather lame tutorial that wants you to go through all the different tool controls. This can be skipped, and if you need to you can go back to a tool if you mess it up in a level. Without using IAP to buy hints and cheats this is a game that can last for weeks. That is of course if you manage to stay away from forums, and faqs about it.
The presentation is bright, polished and goes in the style of games like Phoenix Wright. Objects in the rooms are easy to distinguish, and all numbers are easy to see on the small screen. Being an universal game it is even easier to play on an iPad due to objects being larger on the screen. Levels are introduced with static images, and text dialogue. There are quite a lot of translation errors that spoil the story somewhat. I would also have liked some voicework to help establishing the otherwise rather stale characters. The music is slow suspenseful, and definitely suitable to the gameplay. Sound effects are not that good, and at times feel a bit off. Smashing the hammer through glass doesn’t sound right at all for example. Worst is the dialogue that ticks forward with annoying click sounds.
RoomBreak: Escape Now!! is a hard game with a demanding time limit to each room. To a small audience this will be a perfect pace, but for the most of us it gets frustrating replaying the same room over and over. Having to rely on IAP to buy your way out of a hard spot is not cool in my book. Give the lite version a try if you are on the fence.
RoomBreak: Escape Now!! $2.99 Universal for iPad/iPod/iPhone
Seller: gameday inc.