Play the game, watch the movie

The mysterious Cube Escape series takes on a new dimension.

You wake up in a strange room. The doors are locked, spooky artifacts are all around. Soon it becomes clear that to make your way out, you will have to solve a series of complex and, at times, absurd puzzles. Welcome to Cube Escape: Paradox.

Spot the difference? The short film is very closely linked to the game.

Paradox’s mechanics will be familiar to fans of the series and the ‘room escape’ genre in general – find objects and use them to solve puzzles. But there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface.

For a start, you have the choice of playing the game or watching the short film based on the same story and setting. Better yet: do both and you get an even deeper understanding of what’s going on in this strange universe.

This weird world has taken on an extra dimension with the arrival of the movie.

“Fans will feel right at home [watching the movie],” says Rusty Lake co-founder Robin Ras. “A lot of the props in the room are replicas of objects from our games, so it’s very recognisable.”

“The idea for a movie actually originated with our fans,” continues Ras. “We got the suggestion to make a film on social media and we even saw fan-made trailers online.”

Shot in the Czech Republic and directed by one of Ras’s former classmates, the movie aims to capture the same eerie feeling of being trapped and having to solve bizarre puzzles to escape. The room in both the game and the film are the same and players will encounter the same objects as presented in the movie.

There are further secrets to be found in the links between the game and film.

But it wouldn’t be the Cube Escape series if both the movie and the game didn’t have some secrets to uncover. Ras promises that fans who engage with both, and figure out the unique connection between the two, will get access to some exclusive content.

In producing both a film and a game, Rusty Lake makes the most of the series’ highly developed backstories. And it also plays to the dedicated fanbase that can’t wait for every new release to hit their devices.

“The fans really love [the universe]. There’s a wiki with all the info so far about this world we created, and it’s run by a fan – honestly, we use it all the time to keep track of the stories we write as well,” laughs Ras.

A passionate fanbase of sleuths helped fund the movie, too.

The fans also made the movie a reality. Rusty Lake set up a crowdfunding campaign to finance the production and raised more than double the goal amount. It shows that Ras and his co-founder Maarten Looise have really engaged with their fans.

“We have direct contact with them through social media and ask them for input all the time. For example, the Cube Escape games have always been free to download. When we were thinking of putting out our first premium game under the Rusty Lake name, we literally asked our fans if they would be okay with us doing this,” explains Ras. “The response we got was very positive.”

With Cube Escape: Paradox Rusty Lake has finished its thirteenth game in three years – and its first film. Considering that fans can’t seem to get enough, the limits of the Cube Escape universe have surely yet to be reached.

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