I realised I haven’t actually done a game review for a while but I love the Rusty Lake series and so when the new one came out I had to play it.
Rusty Lake Cube Escape Paradox is the tenth in the cube escape series and the first chapter is completely free with the option of paying £1.99 to get the second chapter. It doesn’t need the second chapter, it could stop after the first, but it does tie a few loose ends together for the entire series. You also don’t need to know the previous games but you do find yourself recognising scenes or characters popping up from the previous nine, even the ones that seem unrelated so I think it’s a good idea to play some of the games first, I’ve listed the ones I think are the most relevant further down.
It has the same art style as previous games in the series, hand drawn with a dark feel and a vintage feel to it. This game does have the difference of having some scenes that feature real actors rather than just a few lines of voice acting here and there like the others have. They also released a short film on their YouTube channel and Steam to go with the two parts, which does include scenes from each of them or scenes close to those in the game. I was definitely impressed with how close they got the film scenes and props to the ones in the game, though it’s not going to give you spoilers for how to solve and puzzles so you can watch it when you want.
Paradox is another from the Cube Escape series, which means you are essentially standing inside a cube, you have four walls and the things within the room infront of these walls to use. The end goal is to try and get the key to the door and untangle a mystery on who the main character you play us, why he’s there and the murderer in a previous game. It’s a point and click type game full of different puzzles to get to the next step and find items to help you with the next puzzle. Some of these puzzles seem quite easy but I did end up referring to the walkthrough at one point where I got stuck. I will also admit some of it was a case of going back through every area and all of the items and clicking around on literally everything.
As far as the story goes it is a bit odd, but then all Rusty Lake ones are, and it involves corrupted souls, finding memories and solving a murder but somehow seems to tie it all together in a way that sort of makes sense. There are obvious goals and the limited amount of things to interact with means that there are a few inventive uses for the items and, although it is pretty linear with how the puzzles work to lead into each other, it doesn’t really feel too much like you’re being led to me.
The game is available for the computer on Steam or through the App store for Apple or Android (just search rusty lake and it appears). I would definitely recommend using something with a touch screen if you can. I have played Rusty Lake games on a laptop, desktop and iPad and I’d say the iPad is the easiest way to enjoy them as it’s a lot more intuitive to play like that. Some of the puzzles are a bit awkward with a mouse, especially when it comes to dialling the old style phone in this particular game.
This is one of those games that works well on both a computer and a mobile app with it being the same on both. Some games you find that a different platform has a slightly different version but it’s not the case with this so if you prefer using a computer then it plays the same as on a tablet. I’m not sure it’s work well on a phone simply for the size of the screen and the details but it might work just as well for that too.
If you’re a bit of a completionist like me they do have achievements to go with the game. There are five for each chapter and rely on seeing clues in the movie they released on YouTube. If you do want to do this I recommend a pen and notebook to write down anything you notice. Some people have commented with time stamps for the clues but I’m planning on trying to find them all myself tomorrow.
I really like these games, they have enough to do that they’re replayable, I’ve gone back and played a few of the others multiple times. I’d say if you’re a fan of puzzle games like the Room series then this series would be worth checking out, with so many of them being free for the entire game I’d play a couple of then first. Arles and Harvey’s Box don’t really link into the rest of the series, though they seem to reference them in here with the parrot’s name and the picture from Arles. The rest have a lot more of a link, with the main character at least mentioned or shown in them. Case 23 is pretty much a prequel to this and Birthday is actually referred to in this so I’d definitely recommend those but the Mill, Theatre and the Cave all have at least one of the characters in.
I’ve bought and played the second episode and might review it next week. The first part is long enough to be a game by itself, the official walkthrough video is just over half an hour but it took me about an hour and a half, it all depends on how quickly you get the puzzles and how much time you end up just trying everything before moving on to the actual puzzles. I tend to try to get everything and check everywhere first so do take longer on a first play through.
Having played this it’s making me want to go back and play some of their others or find similar puzzle style games. I do like Machinarium and the couple of others the same developers have made but are there any similar games you’ve tried you’d recommend?