“Rusty Lake Paradise” by Rusty Lake, Maarten Looise, Robin Ras, Bob Rafferty, Victor Butzelaar, Johan Scherft, Rafał Nowak, Ksenia Slavshchik, Taylor Kim, Ida Birk Glenert, Estela Peixoto, Jialing Geng, Nicolas Thf, Germán Michelis, Nina Kavelar, Giovanni Guglielmo, Meg Furihata & Ayşegül Özol.
“Jakob, the oldest son of the Eilander family, is returning to Paradise island after his mother passed away. Since her mysterious death, the island seems to be cursed by the ten plagues. Find the mother’s hidden memories and partake in strange family rituals in order to stop the plagues.”
The ten plagues of Egypt are the main inspiration for the storyline as well as the puzzle design of “Rusty Lake Paradise”. The game begins with you travelling to Paradise island, which is the home of the Eilander family. Your name is Jakob and you are the oldest son. As soon as your mother died, obscure things start to happen: The island gets overwhelmed by plagues.
Plagues may seem like an archaic concept for us nowadays, especially if many of them happen in a particular order one after another, but they get used as a fantastic dramaturgical element by “Rusty Lake Paradise”. Their obscure nature allow the game to include creative, even uncommon puzzles of all kinds without us as players wondering too much about their sense. Quite often the plague itself is also a hint on what you exactly have to do. Or would you give a thirsty goat a jug of blood to drink, if you would not know that the whole scenario is about the plague that turns water to blood? Thought so.
Another detail I find fascinating about “Rusty Lake Paradise” is the usage of the simplistic illustrations and animations, as they are able to evoke several emotions in me. Sometimes I felt disgusted, sometimes relieved, sometimes intrigued – overall the title clearly has a certain strange vibe that I really liked. And if you like the work of Rusty Lake in general, you will find some interesting details and references in here in regard to other games of them. But to figure out what I mean by that, you have to play this one for yourself.