Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
The Rusty Lake games are beautifully macabre creations. Hotel is my favourite, I think, though Roots is perhaps more ambitious. If you haven’t played them, you should play both. Here’s why…
They’re point and click games, in a sense, though you’re interacting with scenes in an abstract sense rather than controlling a character on the screen. There’s something in common with room escape games and the two commercial Rusty Lake games are connected to a larger, weirder universe that you can explore through the free Cube games, which do belong to the room escape genre.
Essentially, what I’m saying is that these are puzzle games. And I hate most puzzle games because I have no patience and am often incredibly stubborn and foolish. Give me a puzzle game with a strong theme and/or story, and you might keep my attention though. The important thing is that I’m paying so much attention to the colours and the words that I don’t realise how much brainpower I’m having to spend on the actual puzzles.
Rusty Lake Hotel is a murder mystery game set in a creepy hotel in which everyone is for dinner. That’s the hook and it’s such a good hook that even though I’ve finished the entire game twice I can’t remember being annoyed by any of the puzzles. I probably was, but it didn’t matter because I had to see what happened next.
This is the strongest recommendation I can give to a puzzle game. Please play Rusty Lake Hotel. And then the rest.
That way you’ll be ready for the latest addition, Rusty Lake Paradise, which is out on Thursday.