Room escape games are a stripped-down, minimalistic
version of Point-and-Click Game
, often with no plot and an unnamed amnesiac hero. The point of the game is usually getting out of a single room, or a series of rooms, by solving the puzzles.
Hidden clues and items will be scattered well within the room, and it's the player's job to find the clues, keys, items and the right combination of items and solving various puzzles to progress. To increase the player's tension, there will be hidden death traps
or paths that lead to a point of no return
. Making a mistake will often cause an item to be gone indefinitely, and some games will incorporate a time limit. Some games, due to difficulty, will release an official guide
to solve the puzzle.
And as with its older cousin, Nightmare Fuel
Tropes Found in Room Escape Games:
- Amnesiac Hero: The player starts as a character with no recollection of past events.
- Death Trap: And it can come in any flavor.
- Fake Difficulty: Difficult, hard to reach places. No hint on what to do next. Absurd item combinations.
- Guide Dang It: When there is nothing out there to tell you.
- Item Crafting: Certain items need to be combined.
- Lost Forever: It can happen that if you are not careful with handling the items, you will lose it forever.
- Minimalism: A single colored room, with few household items as the only things available are common in room escape games. And little to no plot or a back story.
- No Plot? No Problem!: And it's better off without a plot.
- Stock Video Game Puzzle: These games are filled with stock puzzles. Find the key? Check. Find the wrench? Check. Enter a code you found on a piece of paper into a keypad lock? Check.
- Tap on the Head: The most common reason why you got there in the first place.
- Try Everything: If thinking doesn't work, try everything until something happens.
- You Wake Up in a Room: And you must escape that room.
Video Game Examples:
- The Crimson Room and its sequels are the trope codifier of the genre.
- Alice Is Dead
- Don't Escape turns the genre on its head: it opens with "I wake up in a room, it is not locked, and I remember.. everything." The player's character is a werewolf due to transform that night, and their goal is to lock themselves in to prevent the werewolf escaping and attacking innocent people.
- Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Virtue's Last Reward contain a series of these as puzzle mechanics subsidiary to their main story.
- Deep Sleep
- Killer Escape
- Mystery Of Time And Space
- You Find Yourself In A Room in a room, in a room in a box, in a room next door, in a room in the wall, in a room... You see where I'm going with this?
- The Cerulean Room, a user-made hold for DROD:RPG.
- Trapped - The Dark (pictured above)
Non-Video Game Examples:
- The Real Escape Game series is this in the real world (right down to actually being locked physically inside the room!), except with teams and a time limit.
- The first two MS Paint Adventures, Jailbreak and espcially Problem Sleuth, which introduced more and more point-n-click game mechanics and tropes.