Logo 3.5Cats_AndHalfAFish


"Escape : the brother's saloon." - Woodcrest Games (2020)

December 29, 2021 game review, point&click, puzzle
3d puzzle point&click game.

'Escape : the brother's saloon.' - Woodcrest Games
"Escape : the brother's saloon." - Woodcrest Games (2020)

Note : Please take these game reviews with a good chunk of salt. They are about my personal experience with a game ; yours might be very different.
Also, I have a professional interest in figuring out what works in a game and what doesn't. I know from experience how hard they are to make !

Even though many of the puzzles aren't new/original, they are all really well done, and I truly enjoyed playing this game.

Things I liked :

  • The art and music are well done, and appropriate for the game (indie point&click).
  • Escape : the brother's saloon - start of the game.
  • There are more than 20 different types of puzzles to solve.
    The puzzles usually have good clues (doesn't mean they're easy).
    Some of my favorites : the ballerina puzzle, the clock puzzle, the house paintings puzzle, and the chest with the squares.
  • Escape : the brother's saloon - ballerina. Escape : the brother's saloon - clock.
  • The pacing : this game is mostly linear, but because there are lots of things to look at and lots of devices to play with, it doesn't really feel that way.
    I also like how new rooms are revealed after solving certain puzzles.
  • Escape : the brother's saloon - book.

Serious bug :

  • There is a problem with the English translation for the pirate hat puzzle, which basically makes the puzzle unsolvable.
    Spoiler : (*)

Things that I would have done differently :

  • After a puzzle has been solved, it remains interactable. As one of the reviewers on Steam said : 'If you come back to the game a couple of days later, you can no longer tell which puzzles you have already solved ...'
    Spoiler : (**)
  • The inventory sometimes feels cluttered (eg. 15 separate pool balls).
    It would also have been nice to know how many items of a certain type you need to collect before starting on a puzzle (eg. the steam pipes).
    My solution would have been to show only 1 item from a collection of similar (but not identical) things and annotate it (eg. 5/15).
  • Escape : the brother's saloon - inventory.
  • To solve the paintings puzzle, I had to take screenshots and examine them in imaging software. Solving this (fun and well-thought-out) puzzle in-game is probably near impossible.
  • Two pieces of paper never leave your inventory, even after you have solved the puzzle (probably a bug).
  • The puzzle with the radio took me forever !
    Spoiler : (***)
  • I solved the books puzzle without using a clue, because I didn't realize there was one (didn't recognize it as such) ...
  • The feedback after solving a puzzle consist of a 'you solved it !' sound. Usually this means a drawer or secret compartment has opened somewhere. It is not always clear where in the house that is.
  • As I mentioned before, most puzzles in this game are based on 'classics' (spoilers : ****). Most of these things I wasn't familiar enough with to be able to solve the puzzle. So, often I had to go and look up some general information (eg. what are the rules of *****, how do ***** work, how does one solve *****, etc ?). After that, the clues provided by the game were enough to solve the puzzles.
  • I expected to ****** ...

Spoilery things :

  • (*) Pirate hat riddle translation bug :
    The clue says "the revolver is between 2 clothes". This usually means -immediately- next to. However, in this game it means 'clothing comes somewhere before and after the revolver'.
  • (**) Puzzle feedback : I understand why it was done, but it could have been done differently : disable a puzzle after it has been solved ; re-enable all puzzles just before the player starts the secret puzzle.
  • (***) Radio puzzle : without headphones there is no clue as to what frequencies you need to listen to. Nothing to do but scan them one by one ...
  • (****) The classics : chess, sliding puzzle, keyboard, neighbors riddle, computer logic, find the differences, divide squares over 2 'tubes', radio messages, click in the correct order, balance some scales, ...
  • (*****) General information on chess, scales (balances), sliding puzzles.
  • (******) ... find a rhino    =)

So, all in all : interesting puzzles with exactly the right difficulty (for me). Nice graphics, good atmosphere ...
And basically, the game was very hard to put down !