Aries Escape: Episode No.14
It's sort of pointless to go through the efforts of getting your clothes spiffy and fresh-smelling if you don't have anywhere to go once you've cleaned up. Why not treat yourself to a day of sophistication and refinement, enriching your senses as well as your cultural aptitude? Spend an afternoon browsing an art museum. This is exactly the plan for the day in Aries Escape: Episode No.14—except as this is an escape game, the day takes a turn when you're trapped inside a strange exhibit. Here, a new type of medium is on display: the puzzle as art. It's all quite interesting but...where is the door? If you're ever going to leave these two rooms, rather than turning into a new mummified display, Pas de Fuite, you need to look beyond the surface and hone your art interpretation skills. Following the arrows to navigate, and pointing-and-clicking on active zones, explore everything around you, keeping eyes peeled for hints and items to guide your way. Both the clean, clear design and changing cursor aid your progress, while a "save" button will let you discover both endings without having to play through twice.
Libertechno's design matches the setting perfectly, upping the quality of the graphics to be much more crisp and precise than some earlier installments of her escape game series. Employing the fine art of subterfuge, embedding clues into the pictures and decor, results in quite a few red herrings to distract the player from otherwise very straight-forward puzzles. There are no pixel hunts but you do need to know that certain areas do not become interactive until you've seen a needed clue or, in the case of the "perfect" ending, completed requisite actions. It's also possible to overlook important information or active areas if you forget to use the side arrows when zoomed in on fixed objects. Otherwise, there's little to complain about in this episode; all flows together seamlessly and the puzzles make sense. Clues are well-implemented into the theme and the elegance of the setting fits the mood perfectly. Maybe because it's so relaxing to browse art in a museum, you can't help but stroll casually through the museum, noting clues and amusing at the details as a cool observer rather than confounded captive. Escape comes naturally by course, the inevitable denouement of a creatively interactive art show.
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