Museums were always a boring place for me as I never was a person that cared that much about some historical events and the things that happened in history. Still that doesn’t mean that there are no people that care about relics and legacy that is left behind us to learn us about our past mistakes and to never repeat them again. Escape the Museum Double Pack is a game that will get the interests of every HOG adventurer rise, as the game offers best of both. Let’s start like always with double packs, review the first one and then the second one. Escape the Museum starts quite normally with a mother and daughter trip to the museum in which the mother, Susan Anderson works there as a curator. Just as Caitlin was having a private exhibition by her mother, an earthquake hit the museum making it tremble to its foundations and starting to collapse within it. In that crucial moment Susan succeeds in securing her own daughter from harm, but that almost cost her, her life as one of debris fell on her making her lose conscious. Afterwards it's a frenzied hunt to recover important artifacts while escaping from a maze of debris-barred routes on her way to reunite with Caitlin and flee the devastation together. Most of the games fail on the next step in making a great game, and that is merging a story together with the gameplay creating unification of both things and this game does exactly that. The game is consisted in a nice number of puzzles that you need to solve, but most of them is made out of hidden seek levels. Every level is connected to the previous and the next and the story follows through the whole game. The things marked the game as its magnificently drawn cartoon graphics, and the sounds of the game. Through every level you are being followed by a suitable background. Conversations are handled using a walkie-talkie, cell phone and by e-mail through Susan's handy PDA, which also provides a map of the building. Every game, that is HOG game gives you puzzles that you need to solve, with the matter that you need to figure out what item to use and how to use it. This game uses an approach of using items that are entirely used every day, but in combination with the surroundings, meaning some standard conditions must be fulfilled to be able to perform a task. What I meant to say is how you intend to switch batteries on a device which has screws on itself when it’s pitch dark? Remember in HOG games when you search for different items, and you search from room to room and in every one of them you find a pile of junk that needs to be searched through? Well this game is basically like this all the time, but the story is like that, and also there is a list of items you use to search for items. However, the items you search for are inconsistent as they are not linear in any way you look at them, expect they are all relics. When you are investigating in a HOG and searching for evidence or clues in murders or treasures, they all are part of a big plan, but here you’ll find binoculars, skulls, suitcases, toys, weapons, tools and more are peppered throughout! There are two types of item hunting scenes you'll come across in Escape the Museum. The first one was already mentioned and that is the standard going-through-list-seek. The second is to find ten of a particular item in the scene which is also a bit mentioned. In addition to puzzle solving and object finding, you'll also complete several jigsaw-style levels where you'll find and piece together precious items within the museum. To pick up the games pace and playability you will be rated on every hidden object level you play. The puzzles are timed and you have a certain period of time to finish them, but the items you are seeking, are timed in a way that it counts how much time have you spent on searching that specific item. Besides that you will be rated on precision, objects found and of course how many hints have you used during gameplay. So it is probably better to think about it for a second when looking for items as you are rated if you are inaccurate. Hovering above objects might do the trick, as the mouse point pulsates if you got the right item. The gameplay is constructed in such a way that you are always on your toes watching that you don’t miss something and the music and sound effects do a great job of adding tension and urgency to the atmosphere, as does the occasional shaking and crumbling of the museum interior making sure you don’t forget the situation you are in.
In the sequel to the game Escape the Museum 2, a lot of people was wondering what kind of sequel it will be. At the end of the first game Susan and her daughter came out safely, but Susan returned to collect more artifacts, so pretty much everybody imagined that the game will be a duplicate of the first game, playing it over again with perhaps some changes to the gameplay. But the developers came with a brilliant idea that surprised everyone, including me as I wasn’t expecting this kind of sequel. The role of David Anderson in the sequel is the leading role now. David the husband of Susan and father of Caitlin, was at home when the earthquake happened, and in the first part he was mentioned having trouble getting to the museum and some police problems too but he got there eventually, but how you will find out now! When the earthquake ceased David automatically thought about his family and what could have happened to them, so he started his ‘journey’ to the museum. But his getting there will be as difficult as Susan’s getting out of the museum, as all of the roads have been heavily damaged buildings too, power lines laying over the streets making it hard to get by and some streets are totally jammed making you search for shortcuts. The game starts with David searching for his cell phone and a map so he (you) can get around town. Well, he goes out the door and meets a homeless person who immediately lets him know the situation and gloms on for the rest of the game. Basically this person becomes your guide, because he is your hint system. Escape the Museum 2 is all around David and his managing the different situations which he encounters trying to get to his family. David will find himself in a different situation whether the road is blocked or locked, so you need to take advantage of the situation and create a way through for yourself with the things that are offered with the surroundings you are in. The items you will be searching on the beginning are pretty much for usage to overcome small obstacles to get to the items that you really need. The whole situation, in which David goes through different obstacles to get to his family, can get quite familiar through the gameplay. That’s why they made David quite special guy with his almost world class acrobatic skills and his very stunning intuition and resourcefulness in different situations making him slip through every situation. I’m used to playing games where you are penalized for too much miss-clicks, and here it is done in a very strange way. It seems that David has a couple of medical problems with his heart making his blood pressure go up every time you try to click too much on the items and fail to find them. You lose the control of the cursor for a couple of seconds and your screen goes blurry. Now back to that man, which you encountered on the beginning of the game. Like I said he will follow you around and help you whenever you need it. If you are having problems finding items for the main puzzle you can click on a photo of the homeless dude and he will give you step-by-step instructions. You will come in a situation when you won’t know what to do next, and the homeless will give you a solution in exchange that you find 10 items for his collections that he is very fond of. And now the best part of the whole hint system is that fact, when you search for help in finding a hidden item the homeless guy throws an empty bottle on the place where the item is located. The game is a worthy successor to its predecessor making the sequel very interesting. There is however minor flaws, but like its predecessor nothing that can get in the way of great gameplay and even better graphics what was expected and accomplished in deed. The double pack won’t let you down at all as the game provides with so many choices and gameplay mix that you will enjoy through both parts.