If you didn’t manage to get enough feudal Japanese escape-the-room gameplay from the first iEscaper!, you’ll be happy to know that the series is back for a second go round. Rather than breaking out of a fortress as you did in the last iEscaper! adventure, this time you’ll be breaking in. Your objective? To find the Crystal of Dragon.
Everything you loved about the first iEscaper! is back. The gorgeously-detailed 3D environments, the brutally challenging puzzles, the haunting zen-like soundtrack – all of it. But that doesn’t mean that the winning formula of the first iEscaper! hasn’t undergone some tweaking.
Puzzles are no longer confined to single rooms. You’ll often find a clue or an item in one room that needs to be used in another. This means you’ll need to be considering every room in the castle when you uncover new items and clues. It also means that some backtracking has been added into the mix, but not so much that it feels like a chore. The size of the fortress may feel vast, but you’ll quickly realize when backtracking that any room you need to visit is only a handful of taps away.
Despite the little changes and jaw-dropping environments, what really defines iEscaper! 2 is the difficulty. Some objects are tiny and hard to notice. Some puzzles lack an obvious solution at first glance. If you don’t have the patience for it, iEscaper! 2 is a game that might drive you mad.
The game also suffers from some weak translation, hence the subtitle ‘Castle of the Doom,’ or your pursuit of the ‘Crystal of Dragon.’ Little touches like this almost felt intentional and endearing, but alas, the developer has told us that an update should be arriving any day now to address the problem and improve the English text.
It might have an interesting setting and beautiful scenes, but iEscaper! 2 is all about its challenge. If you’re a veteran of the escape-the-room genre, you’re going to love what’s offered here. If you’re not... consider this a trial by fire.
While there is no Lite for the sequel, the Lite for the original game remains available if you aren't familiar with the genre.