Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Escape to Escape Games

You find yourself alone in a strange room.  You've never been here before, and you have no idea how you got there.  All you know is that you want to escape.

With that, Miro and Kenji welcome you to the wonderful world of ESCAPE GAMES!

My boys have been hooked on this kind of online gaming for 2 years now.  Specially Miro who finds great joy in squeezing out his brain juices on weekends.  Sometimes they attack a game tag-team style --for when one of them needs to take a break and recharge his close to imploding central nervous system.

They have a long hit list of escapist favorites, and here are the top 3.  These score the highest in their gaming meter because each game comes in a series.  Each game ends a story with a glorious fanfare to freedom --and then leads to another story (a.k.a., the next game).  If you remember the book Choose Your Own Adventure, these games are the high-tech, kickass versions of that.

Terminal House Games
Come on in.  Each game takes you to a different house you have to escape from.  The story here is still a bit sketchy.  Something that involves a crashed UFO, a bald blue guy, and a pretty pink extraterrestrial.  Ok, ok, it's a work in progress.  You have to wait for the next game to put the puzzle pieces together.

And speaking of puzzle pieces, the brain teasers here are the codes you have to crack at every turn.  My boys like that.  It makes them feel so Indiana Jones without moving a leg muscle.

Neutral Games
What I think this series has going for it is the pure awesomeness of its art direction.  The graphic style is just incredible!  Which is good enough so it compensates for its lack of solid theme.  The stories aren't necessarily threaded together here.  Some are, some aren't.  But 10,000 points for eye candy, well done!

Of course, strategizing needs to be done again.  Tools are also given to achieve certain tasks and unlock secret doors.  But logic is your strongest hardware so you better dive in with a lot of that.  Your reward in the end:  more visual pleasure at the exit, the kind that will send your mind a-whirl!  Kinda like a carousel ride after a math test.

Esklavos Games
Ah, THIS is the funnest!  This is my boys' cream of the crop Escape Game addiction.  Here, the stories are well thought of.  There's build up to an end that you can't quite see yet --and that's what makes it very exciting.  All you know is that you're on an alien world and there are 2 freaky characters you need to move about to solve riddles... uh... riddling every level.

Yes, unlike Terminal and Neutral, you don't play in the first person with Esklavos. You assume an alien life form persona.  Which to my boys is another exhilarating experience.  Aside from brain bogglers, action and adventure is the name of this game, too.  So it's a full package!  And... the story is just starting to unfold.

My own logic to this gaming phenomenon --if kids choose to be glued to the Mac for an hour or two, then at least allow them to be glued in a productive way.  Not to just some random shooting bloodbath arcade game off the net.  But to a game that would make them think, judge, rethink, decide, and really succeed.

I run a geek farm, don't I?