ferry;;sadhonker;;adams;;rusty lake;;hotel;;puzzle;;exploration Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams


By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on January 21, 2016

Those of you who have read our Firstlook 2015 report, might also remember reading about a indie-developer named Rusty Lake. We had an awesome time at their booth, talking to the guys and playing one of their cool games, Cube Escape: The Lake. Now, the people of Rusty Lake have come up with a brand new game: Rusty Lake Hotel.

Just like previous Rusty Lake games, Rusty Lake hotel is a 2D exploration / puzzle game with cool hand-drawn characters and backgrounds and a somewhat eerie story and setting. In Rusty Lake Hotel, you are an employee of said hotel, which is run by Mr. Owl. One day, a group of guests arrives at the hotel to enjoy a relaxing stay. Unbeknownst to them, something is very wrong here. I will not tell you what is wrong, because that would spoil the fun.

You, as the aforementioned employee, are in charge of gathering the ingredients for each day’s menu. Or, as Mr. Owl puts it: “Welcome our guests to the Rusty Lake Hotel and make sure they will have a pleasant stay. There will be 5 dinners this week. Make sure every dinner is worth dying for!" So you set of to talk to the guests and gather the needed ingredients for each dinner. With each dinner, you can earn up to three stars. The more ingredients you find, the more stars you'll earn. And if you manage to get all the stars in the game, there may even be a present in it for you...

Each round of Rusty Lake Hotel is divided into two parts: the day-time portion and the night-time portion. During the day-time portion you can freely move through the ground-floor level of the hotel where you talk to guests to see if they need or want anything. During the night-time portion of the round, you visit a guest in his or her room, and try to meet their demands, though not quite in the way the guest in question might have envisioned.

The environments of Rusty Lake Hotel are skillfully crafted in a ‘faux-3D’ kind of style. Through clever use of layers and movement, the developers of Rusty Lake create the illusion of a 3D-like environment that is filled with hidden objects and brain-wrecking puzzles. These puzzles are created in such a way that it is not immediately apparent what needs to be done. What I especially like about Rusty Lake games is that they don’t even clue you in on what is going on or what needs to be done. You’ll have to figure that all out as you go. But if you examine your surroundings closely, you will eventually discover what needs to be done in order to achieve the required outcome.

A room usually contains a series of smaller puzzles that, if you solve them, enable you to solve the main puzzle in the room. Through solving puzzles, you collect keys. These keys are needed to advance through the game. Most of the time, these unlock a box or cabinet in which an item is hidden. If you combine the items with the correct lock, puzzle, character or apparatus in the room, you’ll get one step closer to solving the main puzzle in that room.

Rusty Lake games are best described as “An eerie trip into a world filled with mystery where nothing is what it seems". I personally like this concept very much and greatly enjoyed playing the Cube Escape games, as well as this latest installment in the Rusty Lake series. The art-style of the games is very cool; I always like hand-drawn backgrounds and characters. And speaking of characters, the characters of Rusty Lake Hotel are fun yet mysterious. The puzzles you’ll come across range from quite easy to quite hard and the gameplay is simple but effective and most of all: a lot of fun.

So if you’re looking for a cool puzzle game for your android, iOS or desktop device, look no further! I can honestly recommend any Rusty Lake game to each and every one of you. They’re really a lot of fun, quite challenging at times and they always have that edge of suspense. The Cube Escape games are free to play; you can either download them from the App Store or from Google Play. Rusty Lake Hotel is the first non-free Rusty Lake game, but don’t let that hold you back from playing it. After all, what’s €1,99 / $1,99 for an awesome game? Exactly… not a bad deal at all! If you’re curious to see what Rusty Lake has to offer, just click here to visit their website and play the games to your heart’s content.

As the more perceptive among you might have already noticed, I absolutely like the Rusty Lake games. They're simple yet challenging, look really cool and, without exception, contain elements of the eerie persuasion. I can honestly recommend these games to everyone who reads this review and likes puzzle games. I can even recommend them to people who do not read this review, although how I would go about doing that, I don't yet know...

In any case, to the people at Rusty Lake I would just like to say: “Keep on doing what you do, because you’re doing it extremely well!" Now, I think I need a quick vacation… hmmm, I heard somewhere that Rusty Lake is quite nice this time of year. I wonder if the hotel there has a vacant room I could rent?

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Rusty Lake
December 14, 2015