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Video Game / Car Escape

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Car Escape is a series of freeware Point and Click Room Escape Games ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴄᴀʀs! released in 2015. The game takes place in China as our unnamed (but very talkative) protagonist tries to find out what happened to his best friend Mike, gets himself locked in several cars and must escape from them. The player interacts with still-image photographs instead of original artwork, while the third game introduces brief segments of Full Motion Video. The games use images and video of many "REAL CARs" from manufacturers like BMW, Buick, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Tesla and Volkswagen.

The first two games were originally released on iOS as Car Escape 1-4: Nowhere to Go and Car Escape 5. They were eventually bundled together and rereleased as Car Escape 1-5 for iOS, Android and Mac Apple Store, and also fixed or removed some of the more Egregious Moon Logic Puzzles and annoying gameplay mechanics. Car Escape 6: Tesla's Secret was released on mobile and Mac Apple Store a few months later.

Alas. I can't seem to add any trope examples. Too weird!

  • Aerith and Bob: Inverted, given the setting. Most of the Chinese characters have Western names like Mike and Howard, except for Ping.
  • All Just a Dream:
    • The first time our hero gets trapped in a car, it turns out to be a nightmare.
    • In Chapter 4, the main character realizes that he's fallen into a very deep sleep. His priority switches from escaping the room to finding something painful enough to wake him up, because that's how it worked in Inception.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Numerous changes were made to the Apple Store version of 1-5, including the tweaking and removal of puzzles, setpieces and annoying mechanics, in an attempt to make the game less cumbersome.
  • Art Evolution: 6 occasionally uses FMV sequences (instead of being entirely made of pictures like 1-5).
  • Artistic License Cars: Even when making a game using photographs of "REAL CARs", as the game puts it, it still uses this trope due to ignorance and/or Rule of Fun:
    • The iDrive of a 2010 BMW 3 Series is apparently able to recognize that a bomb has been planted inside the car.
    • The game ignores the existence of trunk safeties so the main character can rescue Ping from being trapped in the trunk of a Volkswagen.
    • Valet keys, despite appearing in several puzzles, are never used to start a car.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: "Release all your power, BMW!"
  • Catchphrase: The main character likes to refer to any unfortunate situation, whether it's a locked door or a bomb, as "too weird!"
  • Car Porn: A lot of it, unsurprisingly.
  • Cliffhanger: Most chapters end with one of these. Interestingly, both of 6's endings are these: one ends with the cop arresting you (despite having helped him find Mike's drugs), and the other ends with you getting caught after doing a favor for Mike.
  • Cutting the Knot: Ending B has the protagonist find a locked safe. Instead of searching for the key, he decides he's done with all the puzzles and destroys it with a hammer.
  • Distressed Damsel: Ping manages to lock herself in the trunk of a Volkswagen not even two minutes after we first meet her. To be fair, she locked herself inside rather than getting kidnapped.
  • Distressed Dude: Mike, who is missing in action for most of the first game.
  • Drugs Are Bad: After Mike is revealed to be an accomplice of Heisenberg, most chapters end with the blunt message "SAY NO TO DRUGS".
  • Easter Egg: There are collectible Heisenberg dolls in every level of Car Escape 6.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The Heisenberg doll in the back of Mike's Tesla foreshadows that Mike has been selling Blue Sky meth just before the big reveal.
  • Fusion Fic: Car Escape 6 fuses the Car Escape universe with Breaking Bad.
  • Hand Wave: The doors are always locked from the inside in these cars and motels, and love hotels. The main character eventually chalks it up to a string of bad luck.
  • Love Hotels: The setting of Chapter 9 in 1-5.
  • Microtransactions: The games are freeware but puzzle hints can be bought for $0.99 US apiece.
  • Multiple Endings: Tesla's Secret has two endings, depending on whether or not you decide to help the cop go after Mike. Unusually for this trope, each ending has a unique final level following the player's choice.
  • No Name Given: The main character.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Of Car Escape 1-5's nine chapters, only four involve actually escaping out of a car. Chapters 4 and 9 are room escapes, Chapters 6 and 7 have you breaking into a car, and Chapter 8 has you entering a mysterious basement.
  • Potty Emergency: Chapter 3 of 1-5 kicks off with Howard, the protagonist's Private Detective friend, having a nasty case of the runs, leaving you with the keys to his car and telling you he'll meet you there when he's finished. You end up trapped inside.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • There's almost no swearing, so it can be pretty jarring when the main character sometimes yells out "Shit!" in the subtitles when he's frustrated.
    • He lets out a "WTF!" (direct quote) in Car Escape 6 when he gets tazered by the man in the skull mask, and again when the undercover cop handcuffs him.
  • Product Placement: Aside from the cars, Chapter 4 of 1-5 features a Super 8 motel fairly prominently, and the main character's iPhone is a plot point in a few other chapters.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Ping, Howard's assistant, does this at the start of Car Escape 5 (and it's even more Egregious if you're playing Car Escape 1-5, in which case it happens in the middle of the game). Ping shows up in Chapter 7 having apparently been helping the main character find Mike all along despite no mention of her previously.
  • The Reveal: Chapter 11 of 6 reveals that the game is actually set in the same universe as Breaking Bad.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The English translation is filled with basic spelling mistakes, nasty grammar errors and utterly bizarre word choices.
  • Russian Reversal: Chapters 6 and 7 of 1-5 invert the game's premise: in 6 you break into a car in order to escape the gangsters' hideout, and in Chapter 7 you have to help someone else (Ping) escape from a car.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show, Don't Tell:
    • The series is very guilty of violating this trope. It may have been inevitable given the emphasis on photographs, but Car Escape sometimes goes above and beyond to make sure movement is displayed as little as possible, up to and including not showing any of the characters (except Ping and the man in the skull mask) on-screen.
    • At one point in the original iOS version, the main character narrates the effects of a sequence where you have to shoot a single gangster with a rifle, then use a grenade to take out a whole group of them. Despite this being a multi-step puzzle with a decent amount of player input, all of these events take place off-screen.
  • Timed Mission: There are two of these in the iOS version of 1-5: In Chapter 2, you get a Game Over if you step outside the car for more than ten seconds (setting off the bomb inside); and in Chapter 6, you are killed by a gangster if you can't grab the queen-sized wrench, run back to the BMW, pretend to fall asleep and then knock him out in time. Both of these were removed in the Mac version.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 11 of 6, which ends by revealing that Mike is involved in drug trafficking — more specifically, Heisenberg's blue meth.
  • Wham Shot
    • In Chapter 2 of 1-5, the main character solves a simple puzzle to escape a 2010 BMW 3 Series sedan, and is given the seemingly obvious choice of whether to run for it. Most players will say yes, and that's when the bomb goes off.
    • Two from 6:
      • Chapter 11: The man in the skull mask revealing himself as a cop.
      • Chapter 12: The cop shakes your hand after completing the level... and then puts you in handcuffs.