The next Rusty Lake game would be creepy enough without entwining itself with a live-action film, but I’m glad it is. Both Cube Escape: Paradox and Paradox: A Rusty Lake Film will come out on September 20th, telling a criss-crossing story about a detective who gets trapped in a room by an ominous crow. The film and one version of the game will be free, but there’s a paid-for premium version too – though no details yet on how that’ll differ.
The Cube Escape games are point and clickers set in Rusty Lake, a surreal world populated by anthropomorphic horrors. Think Twin Peaks, dialled up to 11.
The setup is reminiscent of Saw, if Jigsaw was (maybe?) a crow and his traps took the form of room escape puzzles:
“When the infamous detective Dale Vandermeer wakes up in an ominous room without any recollection of his past, he soon finds himself part of a bizarre game orchestrated by an old foe. Dale must solve increasingly challenging puzzles to escape the room and recover his memories.”
I believe you can just ignore the film if you choose to, but the crossover stuff lets you “find secret symbols, unlock multiple endings and above all experience the same room in different ways.” In that spirit, here’s what the trailer you just saw looks like with a real live person:
There’s an extra titbit on the game’s site, revealing that Mr. Vandermeer is “trapped in two universes”. I recently spent 20 minutes trapped in a pitch black cargo container while an audio recording muttered about Schrodinger’s cat, so I’m in a good position to empathise. We can’t dismiss the possibility that the Edinburgh Fringe is the Rusty Lake universe’s protrusion into our own.
Cube Escape: Paradox will be available on Steam and Itch come September 20th.