You are mysteriously trapped in a dimly lit call box, with nothing on you. A strange, wired mechanism is holding the door shut. In front of you is a working phone as well as a torn page from the phone directory. What do you do? Is getting out even a possibility?
Of course it is. Being a part of the Afro-Ninja Escape Series, there is no complicated story to get in the way of your escape game experience. All you really have to do is survey the area and figure out the first step. After that, the rest of the interactive objects will start to make sense.
Escape the Phone Booth's best asset is definitely the variety in terms of its puzzles. There are things to find, word games to solve and clues to follow. This makes the game balanced and sets it apart from your run in the mill escape title. There is also a meticulous attention to detail, down to the voice clips heard while operating the phone.
This title is neither too easy, nor too difficult. This makes it perfect for both genre veterans and curious first time players alike. While it may be linear in nature, the solutions to the puzzles are not always so obvious. There are word clues to follow, items to uncover and a mini game or two to enjoy. We loved the variety of things to do throughout this bite-sized title. Also, the delivery is superb, with subtle hints laid out for you to consider.
The graphics for Escape the Phone Booth are Flash-drawn. It is polished and the items are easily distinguished from the background. What set this apart from other cartoon styled games is the presence of realistic details such as the fountain's continuous flowing water or the blurry text in the distance. As we mentioned above, this also applies to the sound design. The phone in particular functions as it should, bringing an immersive quality to the game.
Escape the Phone Booth will keep you busy for about half an hour or so. The game play length will ultimately depend on how fast you figure out how to use the first major clue in the game. If you are having a hard time, it is best to keep focused and remember that the timer is there simply to keep track of the time it takes for you to beat the game and not to place a limit. That being said, this is a fitting title to play while killing time during lunch breaks.
On a technical aspect, we found no major issues that ruin the game experience. The only quirk Escape the Phone Booth has is its hidden navigation buttons. We found that it is easy enough to move from side to side, but it is hard to move in or out of other angles. While it is fine to implement this as part of the game, it is odd that even getting out requires clicking on a particular hotspot.
We highly recommend playing Escape the Phone Booth whether or not you are new to the game type or a veteran looking for the next challenge. Its balanced game play, nicely detailed delivery and puzzle variety certainly gives it an edge over other escape titles.