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Cube Escape Paradox: game + film

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I discovered the free Cube Escape series by indie developer Rusty Lake only a few months ago. For the first 15-20 minutes I wondered if this weird, creepy game was worth finishing, but then it grabbed me (by the neck) and I just had to play all of them, including the three commercially released games. Am I really the only one here who loves Cube Escape? AG’s reviewer found Rusty Lake: Hotel “underwhelming” and my forum search came up with nothing. Frown All the more reason to start a Paradox thread because it’s a shame this unique series has been under the radar for so long. 

Everything you touch you change…

How to describe the series? A spooky, bizarre, surreal world. It’s all about atmosphere and mystery. Inspired by Twin Peaks. A cubelike room or set of rooms (with the exception of the three premium Rusty Lake games). Psychological horror. Dark humor.  Strange creatures. An overarching story about a mysterious murder. First-person, but the protagonist is not always the same character. Inventory objects + stand-alone puzzles. Recurring themes, characters, objects. Changing the past and/or the future. Every game adds new elements to the Rusty Lake universe.

There will be blood…

Paradox, the 13th and most recent game, consists of two chapters and offers something special I’ve never seen before: a short film.  Apparently there are lots of films based on video games around, either commercial ones or fan-made, like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Uncharted. AFAIK fan-made films in the adventure genre are virtually non-existent. **  But this 18-minute film was made by the developers themselves (Kickstarted) and is essential to the story. In Paradox you play as detective Dale Vandermeer, who is obsessed with the murder case. Scenes from the film are integrated in the game and vice versa. It also contains hints for extra achievements and secret endings.  Very well done.  I couldn’t wait, so I watched it before playing Paradox, but you can watch it anytime.

The past is never dead, the past is not even past… 

Here are some links. Storywise, starting with the first Cube Escape game (Seasons) is best but certainly not necessary.
The free Cube Escape games are available at Rusty Lake
You can buy the three premium Rusty Lake games and the second chapter of Paradox (the first one and the film are free) for a few dollars in the usual places: Steam, itch.io, App store, Google play.

You can watch the Paradox film at Steam or at youtube :

or at Steam

** I watched Portal: No Escape and liked it.  And there’s the excellent 10-minute film Papers Please based on Lucas Pope’s game, highly recommended. See here.

 

     

You might want to be careful where you put your cursor, though, you don’t know where that thing’s been before.  Jen, Four Fat Chicks

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Never heard of the series, thanks for the review. Keep posting!

     

The human race is doomed to progress.
Tony Clifton

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It looks like the games are available for the iPad, so thanks for the heads up on these, Karlok.

     

Sorry, Santa!  I meant to behave, but there were too many options.

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Great find, Karlok, sounds really interesting! Thumbs Up

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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Lady Kestrel - 13 October 2018 12:26 PM

It looks like the games are available for the iPad, so thanks for the heads up on these, Karlok.

Don’t you think it’s time you bought a real computer, Lady K?  Laughing

     
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Headycakesofdoom - 13 October 2018 01:30 PM

Don’t you think it’s time you bought a real computer, Lady K?  Laughing

Nah.  Been there.  Done that.  Bought a Mac and didn’t look back. Grin

     

Sorry, Santa!  I meant to behave, but there were too many options.

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I have played them all, and really enjoyed them. Unfortunately, I have hit a glitch at the end of Chapter 2 in Paradox, so I can’t finish the game. My favourite was Cube Escape The Cave

     
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zobraks - 13 October 2018 12:06 PM

Never heard of the series, thanks for the review. Keep posting!

Don’t hold your breath. I might start the usual “My 20xx, adventurewise” thread at the end of the year, unless someone else beats me to it.

colpet - 13 October 2018 07:29 PM

I have played them all, and really enjoyed them. Unfortunately, I have hit a glitch at the end of Chapter 2 in Paradox, so I can’t finish the game.

Have you tried contacting the devs? At Steam they reply to reports of bugs, probably elsewhere too. 

My favourite was Cube Escape The Cave

Mine is Paradox. Because of the awesome combination of game and movie, the length, the many references to previous games, the brains, and the way the mirror was used for the inventory. The Birthday was perhaps the most memorable. It totally creeped me out, that was really intense. But that doesn’t mean it’s a favorite. I guess I liked all of them. My least favorite is The Lake, the second one, with that timed sequence. And I found Rusty Lake Hotel one of the least interesting games.

     

You might want to be careful where you put your cursor, though, you don’t know where that thing’s been before.  Jen, Four Fat Chicks

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Have you tried contacting the devs? At Steam they reply to reports of bugs, probably elsewhere too.


I play these games on my iPad, so I bought the game from the Apple store. I’ll see if I can post some feedback.
Yes, the Hotel game was not as memorable. I like how the same characters reapear in the games, and that there is a similar theme to them all. Paradox was the most polished, by having the movie, extra easter eggs, and the parallel stories. One thing they all have is clever puzzles, which is what drew me to them in the first place.

     
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colpet - 14 October 2018 07:29 AM

One thing they all have is clever puzzles, which is what drew me to them in the first place.

Absolutely. For me the best puzzle in Paradox was rearranging your memories. The whole brain switching thing was great..

     

You might want to be careful where you put your cursor, though, you don’t know where that thing’s been before.  Jen, Four Fat Chicks

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I’ve played most of the free Cube Escape games, most of them on my phone (Android). I love their unique atmosphere (even though things sometimes get a bit too creepy for me), their recurring motifs and characters with symbolic undertones, and their often original puzzles. I haven’t tried their commercial games yet, but I definitely will, starting with Paradox since it seems to be the most accomplished one, and skipping The Birthday which appears to be particularly creepy.
edit: turns out those two aren’t commercial games but part of the free Cube Escape series. Well, one more reason to play Paradox soon.

Regarding The Lake: my friend who introduced me to the series had warned me that I would probably not enjoy it because of the timed sequence, but it turned out I never had to go through it at all - perhaps it’s a phone-only feature, but at the end of the first game, I was presented with a code and an invitation to use it in the following game to try and change the past… I found out pretty easily where to use it in The Lake, although you can definitely miss it as it requires a preliminary action, and thus got the “good” ending, without the timed sequence Smile

     
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Karlok, Zobraks! Good to see you guys Smile

Anyway, thanks for this excellent write up! One of my favorite series by far, I was completely blown away with Paradox. A true work of art! Also I agree the brain swapping and mirror puzzles were pure genius.
I would really like to see more short film/game mergers like this. Such a cool and rewarding experience, especially with all the references and hidden clues.  Thumbs Up

     

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Greetings, my dear fellow!

     

The human race is doomed to progress.
Tony Clifton

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Sir Beardalot - 14 October 2018 11:39 AM

Karlok, Zobraks! Good to see you guys Smile

Same here, Mr Hairy Face

Anyway, thanks for this excellent write up! One of my favorite series by far, I was completely blown away with Paradox.

Good thing I started this thread. Three fans coming out of the woodwork!

A true work of art!

Yes. Smile

The devs will show their film at a film festival over here in November and of course I have secured a ticket. Visitors will also have the opportunity to play the game and talk to the devs. I hope I’ll get a chance to ask at least some of my questions, I have so many.

@NickyLarson: Didn’t know there was a code. I played The Lake at Rusty Lake’s website though. If it was there I missed it.

     

You might want to be careful where you put your cursor, though, you don’t know where that thing’s been before.  Jen, Four Fat Chicks

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Karlok - 15 October 2018 12:55 AM

The devs will show their film at a film festival over here in November and of course I have secured a ticket. Visitors will also have the opportunity to play the game and talk to the devs. I hope I’ll get a chance to ask at least some of my questions, I have so many.

Oh man, I’m sooo jealous! I have a friend from Sweden who went to the private premiere in Prague. Meanwhile, I’m stuck across the pond Meh You’ll have to let me know how it goes Smile

     

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Sir Beardalot - 15 October 2018 01:23 AM
Karlok - 15 October 2018 12:55 AM

The devs will show their film at a film festival over here in November and of course I have secured a ticket. Visitors will also have the opportunity to play the game and talk to the devs. I hope I’ll get a chance to ask at least some of my questions, I have so many.

Oh man, I’m sooo jealous! I have a friend from Sweden who went to the private premiere in Prague. Meanwhile, I’m stuck across the pond Meh

Pond is the key word. Smile
Did you know Vandermeer literally translates to of-the-lake? And Vanderboom means of-the-tree.

You’ll have to let me know how it goes Smile

I will for sure. Smile

If I’d know about their Kickstarter I would have backed them without thinking twice. I also would have had a chance to get me a copy of the painting of Mr Crow and my Corrupted Soul.

 

     

You might want to be careful where you put your cursor, though, you don’t know where that thing’s been before.  Jen, Four Fat Chicks

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