Lincoln, Nov 2019
Although you can play it stand-alone, Hideaway is a direct sequel to Deliverance’s first game Cabin In The Woods, and their website encourages you not to read the game description if you want to avoid spoilers for the previous game. Your role is no longer as lost hikers but as law enforcement officers, attempting to apprehend the same antagonist we encountered in Cabin.
This time the theming is a garage environment, full of tools and cranks and pieces of cars. And it feels convincing, sometimes almost too much so – something I touched left authentic black grease on my fingers. A setting like that is naturally suited to physical, mechanical mechanisms, and Hideaway takes full advantage of that with a host of puzzles involving machinery or heaving things around, giving a satisfyingly gritty hands-on feel.
In a cluttered environment it wasn’t always clear what was part of the game – a couple of times things I’d assumed were just decor turned out to conceal important clue information. In fact, despite the large number of things to look at, almost everything turned out to be relevant in one way or another.
I found it sophisticated and inventive, and consistently enjoyable with some surprises that added to the gameplay. That includes an ending that’s set up to provide high drama even if you’re well ahead of time. The actual puzzles in that section struck me as weaker than the high standard set by the rest of the game, but the effects and drama were very good.
I liked Cabin, and Hideaway shows the same strengths while being a big step up in sophistication. Although it’s a mildly scary theme it’s fairly restrained, and good enough as an escape room to be worth making an effort to play for all but the most nervous players.