People who try our games at events are often more familiar with the popular real-life room escape than with the point and click-styled room escape games we develop. Even though the “old” room escape flash games have been around way longer than the first real-life escape game, which was created in Silicon Valley by a group of system programmers in 2006.
By then, online gaming portals were already filled with flash room escape games, taking place in the common environments like abandoned houses, basements or prisons. Although the genre is popular, it’s not always taken seriously. One of the reasons is that it always involves the same sort of puzzles and the same atmosphere. Most of these games are using the same principles of finding clues and getting keys to open new doors and chests. However, this mechanism gives also power to the genre. It has a recognizable structure and the entry level is very low.
When we started Rusty Lake in April 2015, we had clear ideas how to add something new to this point and click room escape genre. Very important to us was trying to add as much suspense and atmosphere as possible to the games. For this we got inspired by the humor and uneasiness of David Lynch’s TV series Twin Peaks. Our goal was to publish a series with a new installment every two to three months. After one year, we released nine games on iOS, Android and Web.
We started with the free Cube Escape series: surrealistic room escape games, which take place in our imaginative world called Rusty Lake. Using this world as something bigger than the games itself gave us a lot more options then we could foresee in the beginning. Although people are playing in one room, they know it’s part of something bigger. A place where anything can happen. Each chapter is somehow connected to the others and every installment reveals more about the Rusty Lake mystery.
Our first premium game, Rusty Lake Hotel, is a bit of a sidestep from the Cube Escape series. It’s a good example of how we made something bigger from an ordinary room escape. We made a story based around five andromorphic animals, visiting the hotel as guests. The player takes on the role of the hotel butler. It’s the butler’s duty to attend to the needs of the guests and to organize an excellent dinner party for them every night. The basis of the game is a point & click adventure, with some added puzzles and a room escape concept.
The story of Rusty Lake is not over yet. We released our second premium game which has a bit different structure than the basic room escape principles we used before. We will continue to experiment in future to see how can evolve from the room escape genre.