“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” Lewis Carroll
Developer: Temmie Chang
Released: April 2019
Price: Free/Name your own price
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Available on: itch
The game centres around a lonely, young girl, home alone and unsure where her parents have gone. She spends each day looking for them, awaiting their return before writing in her journal and going to sleep, unconsciously connecting to another world through her dreams as she slumbers.
Escaped Chasm uses a mix of art-styles, including some beautiful pixel art, more cartoon-like cut scene animations and black-and white-line drawings during dream sequences. This helps to create a sense of differentiation between the varying states of the game-world and of the protagonist. The majority of the game uses muted blue, grey and mauve tones with red hues being used sparingly to represent the other worlds.
Additionally, the music ranges from cute to ominous, it fits well with this style of game and is utilised well to add to the atmosphere and build tension. The game does start with a warning stating ‘may contain some loud and prolonged low/high pitch moments and unsettling atmosphere/elements’ which, although worth noting, is not something I personally found to be an issue or even noticeable.
The controls for the game are fairly standard (if not somewhat basic) for point-and-click games, with only the mouse and return key being used. It is not possible to change these controls from the game options, which are very limited and include no graphics options.
The controls work well for the most part but on entering a room, trying to immediately interact with an object often just resulted in the character leaving the room. I often had to click below an object to interact with it and it was far from clear which objects could be interacted with at all. I also found some of the interactions a little banal and lacking substance; for example, clicking a plant pot triggering on-screen text to tell me it’s a plant pot!
Escaped Chasm is a short game, taking around 20-30 minutes to play. However it does contain multiple endings and certainly has some replay value, it also provides the option to skip cutscenes in future playthroughs. Overall, the game was an enjoyable experience; it features some really cute artwork and has an intriguing story and with a ‘pay what you want’ price tag there’s not a lot to lose!
Escaped Chasm is just one example of why RPG Maker games should not be so quickly overlooked! For another great example take a look at our To The Moon review!