June 12, 2015 9:55 AM | John Bridgman
It's Steam sale time again. A time of savings and generosity. And sometimes service outages. So what to do when you can't access Steam for all the traffic? One possibility is to break out your mobile device and try something new there. Rusty Lake, maker of popular room escape games, has just released their newest, Cube Escape: Arles, based on the work of van Gogh.
The room escape genre is a mainstay of short diversion games. Often boiling down the point and click adventure genre to its basic roots, they embrace the ludicrous puzzles and self-contained logic that can throw players out of the experience of more narrative adventures.
Set in van Gogh's bedroom in Arles, this ad supported mobile title does an alright job of exercising the mind with its puzzles without letting its internal logic go too far off the rails. The puzzles remain mostly intuitive, and the clues are accessible without being too easy. There are some silly animations in the game which make the game slip out of its feel briefly, which is unfortunate, but ultimately harmless. They aren't too jarring but they are likely to cause more than a few eye rolls.
The interface is easy to learn, well labelled and unobtrusive. You'll quickly learn how to manage inventory items as you collect them, which is a plus as there are quite a fair number to acquire. You'll also manage to orientate direction in the room easily as one puzzle does require that awareness.
For a brief diversion, Cube Escape: Arles works very well. Not too difficult, and not overstaying its welcome, it is something for room escape fans to play through quickly and have a good time with. For players who have trouble with the sometimes unusual logic steps in such games, this won't change their minds, but it's approachable enough for folks willing to give the genre a try.