It’s the middle of the week, it’s rainy, and you’re bored. It’s the perfect time for a Flash game! Specifically, Neutral’s Room Escape Games.
Neutral’s games follow the typical formula: You are inexplicably trapped in a room and must find objects and solve puzzles to find a way to escape. The style, quality, and difficulty of Neutral’s games are what sets them apart.
The graphics are really pleasing to the eye, featuring soft colors and beautiful ambient light. While some escape games might stick you in a dark, creepy room, Neutral’s rooms are bright and pleasant, encouraging you to play at a casual pace.
Although the images in these games are full of lovely details, Neutral keeps the room designs fairly simple and streamlined. An absence of clutter and unnecessary details keeps players from feeling the need to click every pixel of the screen to find clues, for the most part. Even the sound is minimalist; no background music, just sound effects for object interactions and gaining new inventory items.
Make no mistake, though, these games are tough. I think I only made it through one of them without succumbing to the temptation of a walkthrough. Some of the puzzles are really clever and require a good amount of critical thinking to solve. I do have to say, however, that despite the streamlined visual style of the game, some clues and goals can be pretty unintuitive and the game suffers from the same pitfalls as most point-and-click games. You might not realize that you can click a certain area of an object to look at the underside, and it can be frustrating to feel like you’ve checked every inch of the room only to read a walkthrough and find that the next clue is hidden in the tiny bit of space between the couch and the wall, a place you didn’t happen to click. It’s easy to say that these aspects are just part of the way escape games are supposed to be, but continuing to use these methods can encourage brute-forcing and random clicking, which is never something you want to do as a designer.
Still, the games are very enjoyable and challenging in a mostly fun way. Right now there are five standard games available, three mini escape games, and one strangely addictive “little puzzle” game. Although it’s been over a year since the last new game was posted, Neutral wrote a blog post last month saying a new room is on the way!
Go check out these charming and challenging games!