November 3, 2018 at 3:21 pm #31076
Some years ago, I became totally addicted to the genre of Escape games (puzzle games). I am interested in and intrigued by the power of deduction that is needed to solve the increasingly difficult puzzles. Unfortunately, after not-so-long of a time, I became bored with the games. There just didn’t seem to be any more challenging & fun ones to do, or most of them became cookie-cutter or copycats. Even worse, some of them had absolutely no story to them. Bleh!
I recently noticed that Escape from Castle Orochi (ECO) is listed on our Forums. The game had no posts on it, so I thought I’d give it a try and contribute a little something around here. Without failure to mention, it’s a game from Kemco! I haven’t played an Escape game in a couple of years, so I thought it would be fun to dive back into one and start the discussions for us. It’s a good way to add something to this blank page and about this genre of games, in case some people here are not familiar with them. This may be a good way to introduce yourself to Escape games if you’re willing to give this one a try at a reasonable price. Or, if like myself, you’re willing to revisit them. If you ever played & enjoyed the old PC puzzle games such as Myst, Riven, Azada, 11th Hour, House of 1,000 Doors, Nancy Drew, Syberia, etc, then you should like Escape games just as much. (If you never played those old PC/laptop games, you should give them a try. Ahh, the memories. 😊)
To purchase Escape games, you have to be somewhat of a daredevil. The games are truly hit-or-miss. They’re either too juvenile in the challenge, or they’re too over-the-top in difficulty. Also, we all have a comfort zone of a price range on what we’ll spend, or risk, for a game, if we’re willing or able to spend anything at all. For RPGers, we luckily have websites like RPG Insanity. We can also read reviews and get recommendations for our fave genre. I dare say, all RPGers think alike. We know a good game when we try it, read about it, or hear about it. It’s different with Escape games. There’s not an online community of Escapees, as far as I know, to help guide us and assist us. So why risk spending our earnings on a game that is boring or only lasts 2-3 hours?
But now, I’m trying to possibly take you out of your comfort zone of RPGs and explore Escape games. In order to do that, I can’t, and won’t, expect you to risk any money. It hasn’t been unusual for gamers of this website to invest a little cash into Kemco games and report to the rest of us how the game fared. I surely don’t mind doing it either – especially for a genre of games I’m familiar playing. If you’re the least bit intrigued about Escape games but you’re not willing to invest in them yet, then you can always try some of the freebies in the app store. In fact, I encourage you to do it if you haven’t already. See if you like them. If you do, and you’re impressed with my review of this game, then give ECO a shot. I like supporting Kemco. I’d be constantly wondering what game to play and wasting money on bozo games if not for the existence of Kemco, and more importantly, if not for the existence of RPG Insanity.
I just completed (the ultimate and fabulous game) Justice Chronicles; and my intention was to play Crystareino next. My initial thoughts when I saw ECO were that I’d just blow $2 USD on this game from the app store, quickly run through it, and play Crystareino tomorrow. Needless to say, I was wrong about how long ECO would take to play. (I started the game on Halloween – a perfect day to get trapped inside a room and try to escape!) Time spent on these kind of games varies between individuals. You could be out of a room in a minute or two; or you could be in there for hours. Maybe even days. Just depends on how intricate and plentiful the clues and puzzles are, and how quickly you’re able to piece together those clues.
As for me, the time spent on this game also included writing down some of the stuff I learned as I went along through the game. It is kinda like a Walkthrough- albeit, it’s a much cheesier Walkthrough than what we’re used to getting around here. I wanted to share the experience of the game with you guys, because that’s part of what we do at RPG Insanity. I spend many, many hours a day, every day, playing games. (A perk of being retired.) For this game, I spent a lot of the time taking notes for the Walkthrough, organizing the Walkthrough notes, and doing the editing & proofing. I can’t divide up that time between play and prose fairly. Well, because it would be too much work for my simple mind. Since I can put many more hours and days into a game and finish them much sooner than the average Joe, maybe by the time I’m done playing and writing all this stuff, my total time involved could be adjusted to a much lengthier time that another gamer would put into it. Let’s just pretend that, okay? ‘Cause I really have no idea for sure. While games are primarily linear, there really is no average number for a game that is new to us, or for a game that is played according to each player’s own comprehension and reasoning; let alone a game that doesn’t clock your hours of gameplay!
For some gamers, length of play is an important factor. It is for me, too. So if I had to give a range of time on how long it could take someone to play this game, I would say anywhere from 5-10 days, with an entire weekend or days off of not sleeping and mad gaming not included. That’s not a long time, but it’s probably not far off from many of the games we play. It took me four days to complete ECO. My best estimate of actual game time would be more than 24 hours. Then, I noticed in the app store under Kemco’s description of the game, “Featuring also a high replay value with multiple endings.” It seems that this game could go much more than 24 hours of playtime or more than 5-10 days. The Intro and Walkthrough are based on my first time through the game. I will know soon enough how the multiple endings are. If you skip over to the “Epilogue” I wrote, you’ll notice that I’m going to need to put more hours into the game. How many hours exactly, I don’t know. If the puzzles change, that would be wonderful! Then we’re definitely getting value for the money spent. If you don’t mind supporting Kemco and showing your love for them with your $2 USD, then I do hope you purchase & play ECO.
If you never liked Escape games, then this is not the game for you. It’s no different from other Escape games. There’s nothing fancy or elaborate about the scenery, graphics, or dialogue in these Escape games, or neo-puzzles, as I like to call them. It’s not an RPG or action game, after all. It’s a puzzle; a brain-teaser; a logic problem. If things like crosswords, pencil puzzles, or games like Myst and Riven bore you, or they aren’t your cup of tea, then there’s a high likelihood you’re not going to like this game.
One good feature about this game is that there is text. It’s not a “quiet” game. (Ever play the old PC games Myst and Riven? Great games, but the quietness sorta spooked me; and there was no help when I had times of totally being lost. Yeah, that kinda creepy quietness. The deafening silence that reminds you how you’re stuck & all alone, and how suspicious things may dwell where it’s placid.) In those games of yore, we were forced to learn on our own what the things around us will or will not do.
You don’t necessarily get direct or obvious clues about what to do in ECO, either, but you are provided with enough vague information about your surroundings for you to (hopefully) deduce how to make things happen in the right sequence and ultimately escape the rooms. You will need to properly strategize about when, how, and how often, to interact with objects, and when to go into MacGyver-thinking mode. You need to pay attention to things that may seem trivial, out of place, or things that are in-your-face. For example, in a typical Escape game, you may assume objects in your small environment are commonplace- like a vase on a mantle (that you could break and find a key inside), or a pillow on a bed (that you could cut open and find a piece of paper with the code to the safe written on it) or a frayed live wire (that would be a needed source of power after you do some MacGyver-ism thing to it), or if you would just think to lift the corner of the area rug, you may find the escape route. Clues are everywhere. Everything is put in the room for a reason: to help you, or sometimes, to distract you. If you enjoy puzzles, logic, and a good challenge, then this game IS for you.
In ECO, you’re a ninja. Your objective is to save the kidnapped princess. You end up at Castle Orochi, and suddenly find yourself trapped in there. The rest of the game is up to you to discover. I will say, the castle tower has four floors, and a total of 11 rooms to solve. As far as I know at this point.
There is a new topic discussion with info and Spoilers for each Floor that’s in the game. Some floors are quite complex, so I divided up the discussions. That way, it would make it easier to find what we’re looking for if other people play the game and join in the discussion.
Just remember one important thing about this game, and any Escape game: if you look at the Spoilers too frequently and don’t do any, or only do minimal, critical thinking on your own, you will finish the game too soon. It will have no challenge to it, and it will quickly become boring. Sometimes, just one Spoiler, or one too many Spoilers, can kill the fun of an Escape game. It can be equated to looking up most answers for a crossword puzzle. The main attraction of Escape games is the challenge they are supposed to provide us. You may be surprised how very well you do without using Spoilers. A spoiler-free game will make the game much more challenging, and it will last much longer for you. Enjoy the puzzles, don’t rush, and take your time to think about what’s in the room and your inventory. Immerse yourself in the challenge of the game by imagining, “What would I do if I really was stuck in a room under the conditions provided?”
I wrote many of the Spoilers in such a way that you will not be given a direct answer. In some instances, you will be given a clue or a mind-tickler. I don’t want to ruin the fun of the game, so I tried to come up with ways to make the game slightly more intriguing but still provide help.
Escape games are very casual and portable. They don’t require an internet connection to play them. If you do end up liking them, or even becoming addicted to them, you can take them anywhere. I mean, you can stay locked in a room forever, no matter where you roam (😁). These games can be great time-killers with a lot of fun to offer.
I have immensely enjoyed this game. When I must stop playing the game for a while, I find my mind racing about what I need to do next, what I’m missing, or where I can find the next clue. Even though ECO isn’t a relatively long game compared to others we’ve played, it is still packed with intrigue, challenges, and fun.
Hope you enjoy it!
LauraNovember 27, 2018 at 9:13 pm #31378
Okay now I want to play this game just so I can read all the spoilers you’ve posted about it! 😆
This is an awesome intro/review of the game, and overview of escape games in general. Thank you for sharing all this, and potentially piquing somebody’s interest in this game. 😉November 28, 2018 at 3:50 am #31393
The Spoilers are silly. Haha! Oldtymer said he read some. I think he got a chuckle or two out of them.
If there’s anything I would like for you to see, Commander, it’s the opening comments of Second Floor: Crane Room, Part One. I think you’re gonna like that as much as I did. 😉
LauraDecember 5, 2018 at 10:55 pm #31540
The Spoilers are silly. Haha! Oldtymer said he read some. I think he got a chuckle or two out of them.
If there’s anything I would like for you to see, Commander, it’s the opening comments of Second Floor: Crane Room, Part One. I think you’re gonna like that as much as I did.
“Aye, aye, aye…” 😆 (Actually, I did find it rather entertaining. And now I want to play the game even EVEN more so I can read all the spoilers as well!)
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