"Escape the room" games have been quite popular on the internet for a while — a quick Google search will yield a number of creative flash-based puzzlers in which the aim is to solve a number of puzzles within a single room in order to escape. With "Aha! I Got It!" Escape Game, developer Ateam has attempted to bring the genre to WiiWare, but should you just stick with free games instead?
It took a while for this game to be released in the west - Japan has had it as 1 Nuke! Dasshutsu Game * My Home Hen for almost a year! For some strange localization reason, the main characters have both been given differently coloured hair and clothes, but other than that, it seems to be the same game.
The game's storyline is pretty simplistic, but nonetheless somewhat weird: Milo is a little boy who loves puzzles, so for his birthday, his dad locks him inside a room full of them, with no escape until all of them are solved. Someone call child support, please!
From there on it's pretty much just like any of the flash-based escape games. Using the Wii remote's pointer, you can hover over various objects in the room, pressing the A button to examine them. A few objects can also be interacted with in different ways — for example, you can unscrew a lightbulb by instead holding the B button (making your little hand icon look as if it is grabbing onto the object) and then twisting the Wii remote.
Once you have picked up a few objects, obviously it's time to start looking for places to use them at. Although some of the solutions are pretty obvious (key goes in keyhole, anyone?), for the most part the puzzles require careful studying of the rest of room. There are a total of four sections of the room you can look at by clicking on arrows pointing to the left and right, and from there you can even further zoom in to specific parts of the room to have an even more detailed look.
After solving all puzzles in the room and opening a door, don't think it's over just yet; you'll actually wind up in a second room with even more puzzles to solve. It's here where you get a choice — this room actually has three exits. Two of them are rather simple to find and will lead to two of the game's endings, while the third one, which requires you to solve the entire room, will then go on to lead you to a third and final room, which, when finished, gives you the best ending.
Although the game appears childish, graphics-wise, be assured that it is actually very challenging; some of the puzzles stumped us for what seemed like hours before it finally clicked and we figured out the solutions. Hidden around the two rooms are little gold medals — at any time you can exchange one medal for one hint from Milo's dad, but trust us when we say that these are generally incredibly vague and will not help you much.
Once you've beaten both rooms, there's really nothing else to the game - You can try to locate all medals (the game keeps track of how many you found) but there are no extra modes or anything.
Although the game's graphics are very child-like, they're pleasing to look at, and really, there's nothing wrong with them. Music-wise, there are only 7 songs in the game - They all sound pretty low-budget, but they're fairly fitting and not truly bad. In case you like them there is also a sound test to listen to them at any time.
Yes, you can find a whole bunch of similar games online for free, but "Aha! I Got It!" Escape Game is fun, simple to play and offers two rooms instead of one. At 500 Wii Points, it comes with the lowest possible WiiWare game price, so if you want to put your brain to the test for a good 2-3 hours, this is definitely not a bad purchase.