May 20, 2015 4:27 PM   Subscribe

It's been a few years, but Neutral has finally released a new escape-the-room game: Elements! [Previously.]
posted by phunniemee (18 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I can't freaking believe it. I used to check Neutral's site about once a month checking for updates or new games, but gave up after two years with no news. Felt like playing a game this evening, figured it had probably been long enough that I'd forgotten the tricks from the previous games, so hit up Neutral's site to play an old one. And holy shit, there's a new game. Released today OF ALL DAYS. It's fate.
posted by phunniemee at 4:30 PM on May 20, 2015 [4 favorites]

yay!!!! now can i have a steam pack of GROW with a brand new one? maybe with mobile support?
posted by nadawi at 4:59 PM on May 20, 2015

Wow, there's nothing like being trapped in a room full of machines I can't make work, instructions I don't understand, uncomfortable-looking furniture and plastic plants!

But enough about work, I'm going to check this game out!
posted by mittens at 5:06 PM on May 20, 2015 [4 favorites]

Warning, the game appears to be extremely long. Don't expect to finish in one sitting.
posted by dilaudid at 5:32 PM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I saw this pop-up on a Japanese escape game website and jumped right in...and immediately ran into a brick wall. There goes the rest of my week...
posted by Thorzdad at 6:03 PM on May 20, 2015

Sparxette and I regularly check through Tesshi-e, Robamimi and Tomatea's websites looking for new escape the room games of sufficient quality. Then we race each other to escape on two separate machines in the lounge.

Through this I have discovered that the key to domestic bliss is to keep your laptop volume down, as nothing is more stress-inducing than the happy *ping* of someone finding a new item when you've been failing to melt a key-enveloping ice-ball in a soup-can kettle for the last ten minutes.

This is particularly troublesome in Tesshi-e games. I'll get stuck on some early puzzle, having failed to make a connection somewhere and she's off with a *ping*, *ping*, *ping*. Then she'll get stuck and I'll have investigated every wrong avenue so thoroughly that I whiz through the rest when finally I make whatever leap I needed to. Then it's my turn to *ping*, *ping*, *ping.

Which gives me a few extra minutes to find the Happy Coin, which is worth more than gold at my place because it will surely bring happiness to you.

But anyhow. Neutral. Yay! Good news for the escapingly inclined!
posted by Sparx at 6:03 PM on May 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

No matter how many puzzles I solve, the game just keeps going...I honestly thought I was making solid progress for several hours, and now I'm just randomly clicking things, hoping for some kind of brilliant insight to descend.
posted by Diagonalize at 6:43 PM on May 20, 2015

I saw dilaudid's comment and thought, nah, I'm pretty sure this thing I'm stuck on is the last puzzle, I'm running out of stuff... hoooooly wow, was I ever wrong.
posted by dorque at 6:48 PM on May 20, 2015

Just beat it, cooperating with two of my friends via irc. It took us a little less than four and a half hours, and it was a blast the whole way.

We were basically neck and neck the entire time, since each of us was good at some puzzles and not so good at others. So any time any of us figured something out, we'd alert the rest of the crew and move forward together.

I kind of want to save the logs of it. It was a great feeling, from start to finish. I can't say anything else.
posted by KChasm at 11:49 PM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is a fantastic game. I've been putzing around the garden for the last few minutes but it's going to be a little while before I figure out how to input the first bit of info. It is 2am. I should go to bed.
posted by phunniemee at 12:10 AM on May 21, 2015

By the way, if you suffer from Ancient Eyes like I do, you can use the browser's zoom function to make the game much, much larger, which I didn't realize until just now when, ironically, the item I was trying to see turned out to be binoculars.
posted by mittens at 9:29 AM on May 21, 2015

This took me about six hours over the course of two nights and it was completely worth it
posted by theodolite at 8:30 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

That was very well done. But I should not have spent all day on it.
posted by Sibrax at 4:12 PM on May 22, 2015

So, say, hypothetically, that you kept getting stuck so badly you had to go hunting for a walkthrough, and then even when you saw the walkthrough, there were a few puzzles that still simply didn't make any sense to you. Are there easier versions of these kinds of games? I enjoyed this a lot, but ...well, I'm not very bright.
posted by mittens at 6:05 PM on May 22, 2015

mittens, Escape the room games are a bit like cryptic crosswords. they have a kind of language that you become familiar with. The most common advance puzzle is how to recognize sequences from combination clues. For example - if you have some coloured buttons and you come across a picture of a rainbow, you might think the sequence of buttons is ROYGBIV (Red/Orange/Yellow etc). But then you come across a bar chart with seven values from one to seven. The bar with the value of one is the third, so the first button you push is the Yellow one, combining the two clues.

For practice - I find Tesshi-e's Mild Escapes has a large range to dip into and relatively consistent and logical style: which is possibly more important than pure ease - You don't want to play guess-the-author's- brain-spasm with these things. Tesshi-e also re-uses styles of puzzle (for example - there's usually a trademark "guess the sequence of wobbly painting corners to push") so once you've seen a couple you can get a general idea of what to look for. I introduced Sparxette to these games via Mild Escapes, and, while she now prefers Tomatea, they got her up and over the learning curve.

But if you absolutely want something less code-based, shorter and totes adorbs, you could try minoto (I use chrome to translate the page - the list of games is down the side).
posted by Sparx at 12:27 AM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Are there easier versions of these kinds of games?

Neutral has made several games and gives them star difficulty ratings. Elements is the hardest one she's made at 4 stars. Try Switch.
posted by phunniemee at 7:00 AM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Can someone explain the box with the array of 4x4 lights on the top? The one in a room off the garden, the room with the large pump and the electricity box on the wall? I found a way to reveal a similar 4x4 pattern, but getting the lights to match that pattern doesn't do anything to help.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:00 PM on May 31, 2015

Can someone explain the box with the array of 4x4 lights on the top? The one in a room off the garden, the room with the large pump and the electricity box on the wall? I found a way to reveal a similar 4x4 pattern, but getting the lights to match that pattern doesn't do anything to help.

If you input the pattern correctly (remember, you have to push the button to unlock the box) it'll spit out a useful piece of paper.
posted by phunniemee at 9:02 PM on May 31, 2015

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