Salary Man Escape
“Salary Man Escape” is a celebration of those hard-working businessmen worldwide. They spend late, unappreciated nights on the office and their goal in life is to try and make ends meet. Oddly enough, that is the entire goal of the puzzles in this game.
Quick Notes Genre: Puzzle Length: 10 hours Controllers: Dual Shock (recommended) and Move Controllers Price: $19.99 PlayPSVR Score: 8
“Salary Man Escape” is a puzzle game wherein one must construct a pathway for a salary man, standing with a posture not unlike someone waiting for the last train to get home. By manipulating the red blocks in a small environment (using either Move controllers or Dual Shock 4, but trust me, use the Dual Shock), I had to make adjustments and let physics run its course so that an appropriate path was made apparent for my young, over-worked hero.
The gameplay mechanic is relatively simple in concept. But lever systems, moving parts, and clever designs ensure that puzzle concepts are rarely repeated, and if repeated, they’re done so in a devious, but not tedious nature.
“Salary Man Escape” packs a whopping 78 levels according to the developers, and a lot of those levels end up taxing my brain as I flexed my spatial reasoning in order to plan moves 2, 3 or 4 steps ahead. Blocks that are dropped cannot be raised back up again, so I had to be thoughtful in my maneuvers.
And the clever puzzle designs would be enough for a puzzle game worth-playing, but the developers have added an extra touch of hopelessness and satire. Each level comes with a short memo from HR with small details as to the workers depressing life. These set a tone for the upcoming level and any frustration I would be facing. And the sexy, 80s lounge music is surprisingly entertaining, with Japanese women sultrily glorifying the life of a salary man. “You are not part of the puzzle. You are the puzzle,” the singer informs me as I struggle to free my avatar.
This game isn’t for everyone, but I have to admit it is surprisingly well made for me. The overall tone of the game chimes with my sense of humor and the puzzles were more challenging than most puzzle games I’ve encountered before, which motivated me to up my game rather than just running a workmanlike trial and error routine.
And for a game that wasn’t about salary men initially, its surprising how fitting the gameplay and themes mesh together so well. As I fought against inner frustrations at my inability to see a solution in the game, I was reminded yet again. I was the puzzle.
Rating: 8 out of 10.