Here on JIG Street, we live by a different set of rules. Even so, the Weekday Escape house is the kind of place that the neighbors whisper about: "Did you know they made me solve a riddle before they'd let me use their bathroom?" "Seriously? Like, who does that?" Our kids play with Russian nesting dolls and regularly hide the TV remote behind wobbly pictures just for laughs. Here, our family pets are Nyan and Wan, the mischievous feline-canine duo in Cogito Ergo Sum's winsome escape adventures in which Nyan always manages to get locked outside. But where did it all begin? To find out, let's go back a bit to Balcony Escape.
In characteristic Cogito Ergo Sum style, Balcony Escape begins with a short movie of Nyan sneaking out for a bite of cat grass, all too oblivious to our warnings (we already know the outcome, after all). Now trapped outside, she needs to contact Wan who, despite no opposable thumbs, will attempt to unlock and open the door. Just like in Balcony Escape 3, you'll need to search about for useful objects and clues to codes: click to grab, double-click to examine. Likewise, each has to relearn their special abilities, only once you find their respective skill books.
Even without a changing cursor, pixel hunts are rare because of a well-designed interface and clean graphics. Additionally, for such a light-hearted and whimsical game, Balcony Escape is great at scaffolding a plethora of puzzles—you'll employ logic, math, spatial reasoning and anagram rearrangement to get that door open. It's just enough to tickle your brain without outright baffling your senses. There's Japanese characters in a few instances, but they have no bearing on puzzle solving and the rest of the story is aptly translated to English. Since it's a short game, you'll be more likely to use the "save" function to test out both endings than to take a needed breather.
The puzzle solving is fun, but the best reason to play a Nyan and Wan game is to take in the cheerful story and fill up on good humor. Nyan and Wan's expressive personalities bubble out of the game and into our hearts, leaving us all warm and full of "Awww," feeling like a happy community family. You need to borrow a cup of sugar? Of course! Just let me decipher this color code to open the cupboard and....