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Takagism (by Toshimitsu Takagi) - “Crimson Room”

Updated: Apr 28


Photo above is property of Toshimitsu Takagi

Company: Takagism (by Toshimitsu Takagi)

Game: Crimson Room

Country: USA 🇺🇸

Language: English

Type of Game: Digital Escape Game 💻

Genre: Mystery

Date Played: February 4, 2022

Difficulty (based on 1 player): 5/10

Size of Team: 1 Player

Time: Unlimited

Price: Free


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"I drank too much last night. I thought what time it was now. I felt thirst of the throat. The bed was different from usual. Is this a hotel? No, it does not seem like a hotel. I am shut up. I have to escape." -- opening of the Crimson Room

The story is a simple escape story...I woke up in a crimson room, apparently after drinking too much and having lost some memory (possibly due to the drinking?). The room is locked and I need to get out. The room was obviously built to be escaped from, and not to completely imprison someone so it made me wonder more about who built it, why did they build it, and who was I to be captured and tested in this room (I tend to make up and add my own story elements when they are not included…and they are not included).


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The Crimson Room is one of the first graphical video game escape rooms and considered to be one of the most influential for the genre. It was released 04 Mar 2004(1) and built on Macromedia Flash. The game was developed by Toshimitsu Takagi and was inspired by the graphical game MOTAS and the games Chasm and DROOM.(2) It was also preceded in 1988 by the text adventure escape room game Behind Closed Doors. The music and sound effects were by Oto-Jiten (Datacraft Co., LTD.)(2)


The graphics are very, very simple, yet charming for being line art and do a decent job to let you play the game and understand what everything is.

Photo above is property of Toshimitsu Takagi


The game took me about 20 minutes to play, with the hardest part being where to find items and where on the screen I needed to click to find said items.

While now the greatest game in the world, this is an important step in the evolution of escape games both digitally and the influence of this and similar games on the modern escape room industry.


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It is a charming/frustrating example of early escape video games that rely on not just adventure-game style mixing of digital objects, but also hunting down items in the game by intuiting (sometimes just guessing) where to click on the screen to find a new hidden area, or item. This game feels like an antagonistic-style game, where the game-play may not be technically sign-posted or always "fair," but can be done and solved once you get the idea of what needs to be done. For example, there is no logical in-game reason for why you use a certain number at one point as it comes from a meta-source, but it still works with puzzle solving.


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Overall I had a good/frustrating time playing it, however it definitely won't be for everyone. I would recommend this only if you are interested in the earliest escape room games and how the games have evolved since then.

 

(If you do decide to try this game, give us a shoutout or tag us on social media so we know you heard it from "ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)


Appendix

Game-play note: One of the clues leads you to a website that no longer exists, but you can find it on the internet archive as you will need the clue from that site. The number from that page is "1994." A later updated version of the game was created with updated grammar and a new note since the original url was deleted.


Citations

(1) https://www.bartbonte.com/portal/crimsonroom.html. Note: this is not the original game url, but unless found otherwise it is assumed the date on the game on this site is correct.

(2) Crimson Room. Takagism. Flash version. 2004.


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