Saturday, July 8, 2017

REVIEW: Cube Escape: Theatre (game)

In Cube Escape: Theatre, Dale Vandermeer is back and exploring more of his memories while in the endless elevator. This time he travels to 1971 and an event surreal enough that it (maybe) never happened. Dale finds himself at a theater with a bartender and a depressed man who wants to get drunk enough to drown out the past. Unfortunately for him, in the Cube Escape games “The past is never dead, it’s not even past.”

This game had lots of crossover with other Cube Escape/Rusty Lake games, especially Rusty Lake Hotel (Ms. Pheasant makes an appearance in human form!), Cube Escape: The Lake, Cube Escape: Seasons, and Cube Escape: Case 23. Part of me thinks it would be best to play this after playing all those other games, and part of me thinks that playing this one first might add a bit more weight to the other games. Cube Escape: The Lake now seems a bit less random to me, for instance.

This was one of the few games in this series that I had the patience to go through without a walkthrough. Well, almost: I broke down and consulted one after spending several fruitless minutes searching for a cube that turned out not to exist. I really enjoyed the various stage puzzles, even though it took me longer to catch on to what was going on with some of them than it probably should have. I wasn’t a huge fan of the “hunt for cubes inside the man’s head” bit (gross), but the part with him in the bathroom at the end was wonderfully creepy.

All in all, this was an excellent entry in the series, both from a puzzle-solving perspective and from a story perspective.

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