For several years now, developer Rusty Lake have been quietly amassing a cult following for their titular Rusty Lake universe which up to this point has included nine different entries in the Cube Escape series and three entries in the actual Rusty Lake series of point-and-click/room escape style adventure games. The best word to describe the Rusty Lake universe is… unsettling. The characters, the environments, and the puzzles all hinge on the bizarre and macabre, and the level of quality at which Rusty Lake has executed their suite of games is a big reason why they’ve garnered such a following. For their tenth Cube Escape game they’ve really outdone themselves, not only crafting a brand new game in the series with Cube Escape: Paradox (Free) but also creating a full blown short film called Paradox that aims to accompany and complement the new game. First up, the trailer for Cube Escape: Paradox.
And then there’s the short film, Paradox. So what is the point of the short film? Does it just retell the game in a live action fashion? The answer is yes and no. You will definitely recognize scenes and even puzzles from the film that are in the game, and in fact both the film and the game play off one another offering little clues or even just easter eggs for each other. The most important thing is that Paradox is INCREDIBLY well done and even as just a standalone viewing experience it’s a wildly entertaining (and yes, unsettling) little film to watch. Seriously, set aside 20 minutes out of your day, mix in some headphones if they’re handy, and watch this uninterrupted in full screen mode. It’s fantastic.
I am seriously just beside myself with how well done Paradox is. It’s probably more meaningful to the folks who have previously played the Cube Escape and Rusty Lake games as there’s all sorts of little touches of fan service to discover. But it’s also just an intriguing piece of cinema, extremely well acted and with incredible cinemetography. I really can’t think of anything else quite like the Cube Escape: Paradox one-two punch of game and short film that’s ever been done before. Needless to say, if you’re already a Rusty Lake fan then Cube Escape: Paradox is an essential download and the film is essential viewing. I’d probably suggest watching the film first and then playing the game, though the order really doesn’t matter.
Also, if you’re new to the Rusty Lake world then Paradox isn’t a bad place to start. Although all the previous games do intertwine in various ways, they’re also able to be played as standalone experiences. Cube Escape: Paradox is free to download with an entire Chapter available to play, and then a second Chapter available as a $1.99 IAP. The previous Cube Escape games are all much shorter experiences and are all free, and the three Rusty Lake games are much lengthier and are all paid at $1.99 each, though all three are currently on sale for 99¢ apiece in celebration of the release of Paradox. Whatever route you take, you absolutely should be playing any and all of the games in the Rusty Lake universe, as they’re some of the most clever and entertaining puzzle adventures around.