mairie;;appins;;app;;ios;;android;;spotlight;;escape;;room;;javelin Mairie "Mary Appins" Heijnen


By Mairie "Mary Appins" Heijnen on December 5, 2018

Who doesn't like a good escape room once in a while, am I right? Getting locked up with some friends in a room that contains many hidden clues, riddles and other puzzles you must complete (successfully) to escape in time. In The Netherlands, these escape rooms have been growing in popularity over the last few years and are a real hit right now. They even came up with a home version, which I am actually quite anxious to try out for myself.

But, since I am not the boardgame reviewer at DumeeGamer, but the lady from the appetizer, I scoured the Google Play store and found a lovely app version of the escape rooms in there. Most of the app games you come across are a bit dark, as many escape rooms usually are. They mostly involve mysteries concerning criminals or other bad and unlawful stuff. And the one I'm about to play is no different in that respect.

It is called Spotlight: Room Escape and, apparently, someone has kidnapped me and put me in a locked room. Now, I don't have a clue who kidnapped me or even why. Actually, I have no memory of how I got here at all. The only thing I do know is that I have to get the hell out of here, so let's go! Now, as you might know by now (if you have read a few of my previous reviews), I am not the type of person who likes to pay for in game extra's. Well, I went against my own beliefs and paid ?1,50 to make the game add-free and get some "light bulbs", which serve as hint tokens.

But let me start about the game itself. The game is built up out of "levels", like almost every game out there. Each of these levels is an escape "room" or maybe escape building since there are always more than one room in a level. The first level is, as almost always in the wide world of gaming, a tutorial which show you how the game works. Since it an app game it is a click and drag game. However the clicking and dragging is sometimes the most difficult part of this game.

In a level you have to escape your current surroundings (what a surprise) to get to the next location. On your way to get out you will come across many closed doors, locked drawers and "hidden" clues and objects scattered all over the place. To find them you must click on them. And when I say click on them, I mean click on them with maximum precision. If your clicks are but a bit off, you will not "find" the item. Or if you just click a fraction to the right or the left of said object, you will zoom in on the wrong object. Even with my slender fingers, I got a bit frustrated after a while. Now, this is not only the game's fault, I know I tend to get impatient if something is not going my way. Which, you might have guessed, happened a lot playing this app.

I can tell you that the escape rooms get more difficult over time. Each level is in general more difficult than the one before and each chapter get more challenging. However, there are still some "rooms" that I thought were easier than others, but this is because sometimes things just seem to click. You just instantly see what you have to do and find the objects and hints quite fast.

However, most of the time, I found myself cursing (very ladylike of course) at my phone and telling it that I really have no idea what to do. The phrase "What do you want from meeeee?!" often came to mind, so I used my precious light bulbs to show me the hints. Once you see the hint, you will mostly be in shock, either because of the illogical steps you must take, or because of the simplicity of the actions you should complete. When the latter is the case, I thought "well, I could have figured that out on my own" which, of course, I couldn't because otherwise, I wouldn't need to use my light bulbs, now would I?

Just like a real-life escape room, the game plays nice tricks with the environment you are currently in. The theme of the room fits the hidden clues and puzzles. You really "interact" with the room to get the clues and objects you need. In almost every room, you'll have to find a key of some sort. By finding it and clicking on it you will put it in your "inventory", which is located on the right side of your screen. If you click on something in your inventory there will be an pop-up in the centre of the screen showing an enlarged image of that item, complete with a short description. This description can be useful, or it might just tell you what you already know, like: yes, that is indeed a piece of paper with some writing on it... now what?

The objects in your inventory can and sometimes must be combined. For instance; you sometimes have to fill a glass with the water from a bottle, both of which are currently in your inventory. By dragging one object onto the other (in exactly the right way), this will happen. But, that being said, most of the time you must use the objects in your inventory with stuff in the room. This is done in pretty much the same way as combining items in your inventory; drag the object onto an object in the room in order for them to interact with each other. Or not, at which point you know you thought wrong and have to rethink your steps once more.

Since this is an app game, you will most likely play it while in the bathroom or on a train or at any other given location when you have some time to spare. Like at the Christmas dinner with your in-laws... Please make sure you bring a piece of paper with you and a pen, because you will have to remember some clues that you found at one end of the room and use this information when you are at the other end of the room. Most are easy, but when you get further into the game they will get more complex, so remembering everything will get more and more difficult.

At the time of writing this review, I am at the point in the game where the next level isn't ready yet. I have been patiently waiting for a few weeks now to be able to get into the next room I must escape from. Now, most of the time, I will delete apps when I'm at such a junction, simply because I don't have the patience for it. But Spotlight: Room, Escape is currently still on my phone, meaning I really would like to play the upcoming levels. This dear readers is, of course, a very good sign.

So, if you nothing more than escape into your phone during the holiday season when visiting your in-laws, other family members or friends, then you should really install this game. Maybe the people you are visiting can even help you. Plus, if you really are stuck and don't want to watch promotional videos in order to earn more light bulbs, you can always go on YouTube and find complete walkthroughs which, no matter how much I hate to admit it, I really needed sometimes!

available on:

Javelin Ltd
April 2018 (last update)