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Metal Slime
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Review: House Escape 
 PostFri Nov 20, 2009 5:50 pm
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This is a review of House Escape.

Get out before you die!

Spoonweaver's House Escape recently went through a major overall. Redesigned graphics, redesigned house, redesigned game mechanics. It's essentially a different game built on the same idea. The first major new feature you'll notice (aside from the sound byte intro) is the flashlight.

The flashlight actually serves three purposes. The first is, obviously, limiting visibility. But the thing is, it shrinks. It doubles as a timer and a health bar, getting smaller either as time goes on or you take a hit from a ghoul, making it rough to find your way through the house. An interesting design choice, since it means that the more mistakes a player makes, the more likely they'll be to continue making them. The odds are already stacked against you as you seek out another battery to charge your flashlight, and you'll be that much more likely not to notice that skeleton coming around the corner in time. It reminds me of Project C from a few years back, but without the horror-game moodiness, though it runs a lot smoother thanks to the advent of layers.

The game is further complicated with weird collectibles, coin that have no apparent use and have no count available to the player. I assume they keep some kind of score given upon completion, but a counter really wouldn't be too hard to implement. This game could benefit a lot from a Mario-style extra lives mechanic, especially since the game as is doesn't encourage much exploration or collection, given the limited time and visibility. If a reasonable amount of coins would net you an extra life that started you either at the same spot or at least the beginning of the floor, there'd be a lot more incentive for grabbing them.

An interesting game, all in all, and a huge improvement over the original version (though i can't say for sure if the ridiculous Screamer ending was kept or not), though the attempts at making it more challenging might've have unbalanced it in the other direction. Definitely worth a look.
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