New game release: 'The White Door' slides between puzzling routines and lucid dreams

The unique, acclaimed "Rusty Lake Hotel" adventure series returns with a new perspective.


[The White Door - Official Release Trailer: youtu.be/7GK2DwX_zaw]

After a dozen entries to the expanded "Rusty Lake" franchise, spread between the free "Cube Escape" locked room puzzles and a trio of inexpensive, eerie "Rusty Lake" mysteries, it's time for something different.

Copenhagen-based studio Rusty Lake, which shares a name with its most famous franchise, brings players to a new location -- a whitewashed mental health facility -- where one Robert Hill wakes up with no idea of who he is or why he's there.

While "The White Door" still fits within the Rusty Lake series, it adopts a new perspective and a new story-telling device, and the story as a whole lands on a more contemplative, even tragic note.

Each day is framed by a selection of activities at the institution, tied off with a dream illuminating aspects of the patient's fragmented past.

Instead of a side-view as in "Cube Escape" and previous "Rusty Lake" entries, players view much of Robert's movements from a more disconnected bird's eye vantage.

Not only that, but "The White Door" display is divided in two, directing attention towards close-up angles or conversation subtitles.

Newcomers to the series might like to start with the ten short, free "Cube Escape" games to get a feel for the Rusty Lake universe and build up a bit of additional context for "The White Door" story.

The three remaining "Rusty Lake" games ("Rusty Lake Hotel," "Rusty Lake: Roots" and "Rusty Lake Paradise") also provide more understanding, though in a slightly different manner.

While "The White Door" is as challenging as its predecessors, with the aim of making Robert's story more accessible even so, and in keeping with studio tradition, Rusty Lake's developers have gone to the trouble of posting up an official chapter-by-chapter guide on their YouTube channel.

"The White Door" is available to download from iOS and Android and on Mac and PC through the Steam and Itch.io stores.