Aries Escape: Episode No.005
It's a story almost as old as time. You know the one. You enter a café to meet a date and are kept waiting for him. Before you know it, you're somehow accidentally locked inside. What the what? Okay, clumsy you, time to escape. Again. Yet while the story, music and scenery in Aries Escape: Episode No.005 sound and looks so familiar, this blithesome escaping venture comes from someone new to Weekday Escape: Libertechno.
Navigation and gameplay are as usual—click around the room looking for puzzles to solve and the clues to help you solve them. Your successful exit from this cleverly-designed eating establishment means ordering up the correct series of codes—as well as finding the place to input them—to unlock the café's door. That feat is slightly aided by a changing cursor, which isn't found in a Tesshi-e escape even if everything else looks same-y. Still, some of those hotspots are a tad small, so move about more purposefully, keeping a careful lookout for explorable areas. Click an inventory item to use it, double-click to view it. Use the disc icon to save and the tool icon to access sound controls. Although the prologue and messaging are only in Japanese, all the hints and codes are readily accessible to an English speaker.
Be wary of misdirection caused by too much familiarity with other escape-the-room designers. Except for an English translation of the background story, a diverse menu of quality features are herein—Aries Escape: Episode No.005 is not just a poor copy. You might spy a family resemblance but this amusing jaunt has its own merits and worthwhile qualities and is so tired of being compared to its older cousin who was more popular in school, got a driver's license sooner, could go to bars first...oh, wait, that's someone else. Anyhow, if you walk into this holding too many assumptions, you'll end up thumping your head on the desk until it starts to wobble. This escape has some challenge, but it's also very logical and fair once you let go of expectations.
Of course, Libertechno also gives us two endings to enjoy—both normal and "happy." With a mix of fun puzzles, its pleasant look and feel, and lighthearted music to round out the experience, Aries Escape: Episode No.005 is a recognizable new friend whom we'll look forward to having a drink with again.
Note: to adjust sound, select the [tool] icon and move the bottom slider to the left. Keep the top slider, which controls click sensitivity, all the way to the right.