One of the most surprising titles dropped during Nintendo's barrage of pre-PAX indie announcements was Mom Hid My Game. An escape-the-room game with simple and colourful artwork set on a stark blue background, its unique look has understandably turned a lot of heads.
But as it happens Mom Hid My Game has actually been around for a while, and in a pretty accessible format at that. Released on iOS and Android as Hidden my game by mom, both the original game and its sequel Hidden my game by mom 2 can currently be played for free.
I'm not usually a fan of escape rooms. I tend to find them either obvious or obtuse, and either way the solutions never really hold my interest. Hidden my game by mom is a bit different, though.
Essentially, players have to help a kid find the 3DS their mom hid somewhere in the room without getting caught in the act. The first few levels make that task easy by hiding the device in expected places like cupboards, but instead of keeping things conventional Hidden my game by mom quickly reveals a goofier, occasionally Warioware-esque approach. The puzzles are quick to betray the player's sense of logic, their impulse to act/react immediately to a problem, and their inclination to explore every single object before committing to a solution. This isn't a game about feeling smart so much as it's a game about feeling surprised, or reveling in a sharp left turn.
It's also quite short, so the less said about any specific puzzles the better.
The Switch and 3DS versions of the game are due out this year and will apparently have a few new levels in addition to the existing ones. They'll be free of annoying mobile market advertising too, and that alone may make it worth the wait. But for those who want a taste of the Mom Hid My Game experience ASAP (or want to try out the other whimsical games from developer hap Inc. including Toast Girl and My brother ate my pudding) they're all just a free download away.