For those who don’t know, I backed the Cube Escape Paradox project on Kickstarter a few months ago which was paired up with the both a free game (available on mobile and Steam), a sequel after 12 puzzle escape games sort of thing. Rusty Lake has created quite the world. The distinct part of the project was not that there was a game with one free access and the second chapter which is premium, meaning you need to pay for it, but also that it also included a short film set in the universe. Rusty Lake’s world is so fantastic that I had no doubt that it would work as a short film as well. Of course, making a game and making a movie are very different things (even if some games are very narrative and would translate really well or looks like an interactive movie aka Until Dawn).
I don’t think that you really need to know the game to appreciate the short film so here it is:
However, if you want to check it out. All the Cube Escape games are free on mobile so its very accessible and they are really good. I’m still working on the last few for Game Warp.
Anyways, I always like to see the projects I backed with final products to distribute. So I decided to do a quick review of this short film.
Director: Sean van Leijenhorst
Cast: David Bowles, Elena Kejvalova, Bob Rafferty (voice)
A detective must solve increasingly challenging puzzles as part of a bizarre game orchestrated by an old foe in order to escape the room he’s in. – IMDB
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Cube Escape, its essentially a somewhat twisted puzzle/room escape sort of deal. The premise of the game itself and the story that it tells about the detective throughout its different game might never be the heavy focus but its present enough for it to matter. Because of that, it does feel like the vagueness makes this like an official start to the story and creates a solid foundation. At the same time, the game elements of moving by flipping through screens in somewhat of a point and click style translates well enough to make it feel like its keeping to the theme of the game adaptation. It replicates by the camera through the eyes of the character looking from one room to the next. Its a nice touch to add that in. The source story itself has its own mystery which is always a good element to add into this one. As a film, there is a tighter knit of things so it works that the detective figures out the puzzles at a good pace but at the same time, it also highlights the main elements of the mystery.
There’s a lot to think about for Paradox. The main thing is whether the non-playing audience has a good entry point here or will it feel like you are dropping into someone else’s story and get confused. In my opinion, I think it does a fine job in that respect. The story in the game was vague but present. It answered some questions but there was never a big picture (take note that I am 3 games behind from this one). However, the main characters are here, the atmosphere and style are comparable and the short film style works well enough to be a stepping stone into this Rusty Lake world and man, is this world intriguing and mysterious? They did a good job here. I would be down to see them do more of them and see where its headed for the story. Its a great idea to pair it with the game.