Here are the ones I really like:
-Essentially all of the Neutral games
(i.e., xmas escapes, RGB, sphere, lights, switch, vision.) [previously 2 3 4
-Sagririo's Room Escape
, chapters 1-4
and Room Fake
and are ok, but something about them (that I can't totally put my finger on) makes me feel a little like I'm trying to button a shirt while wearing mittens.
(BTW, I'm not crazy about the other escape games from akarika.net, even though I liked Loom Dawn and almost liked Room Fake.)
I found the games I listed at the beginning of the post at jayisgames, and I've gone through a lot of the other games there, but the other ones I've found so far all have that mitten-wearing shirt-buttoning quality to an even greater extent than #07 ML and Room Fake.
I think this mitten feeling is due to some combination of sub par graphics, not a great interface, too much pixel hunting, and puzzles that are hard because they're counterintuitive and sort of arbitrary, as opposed to being hard because they require lateral thinking, logic, creativity, a lot of thinking, and so on. (The latter qualities are good ones for a puzzle to have.) [In the case of #07 ML, it is kind of nice-looking, but I feel like I can't get to things or areas I'm trying to get to, or worse, that I have to get to in order to play. Also, the way that you end up finding some items just seems kind of random to me.]
In general, I seem to like the puzzle-heavy adventure genre, as opposed to room-escape per se, hence my liking Tipping Point. The puzzle component is much more important to me than just experiencing a story, though. (Which is probably why I happen to be drawn to room escape games.)
Any recommendations for games similar to the ones I've listed? Basically, I'm looking for games with really good, creative puzzles that make some sense within the game, and photo-realistic, or at least really good (but not necessarily photo-realistic) graphics. A nice interface, as well as not so much on the pixel hunting front are good bonuses. (These factors seem be more significant as the puzzle and graphics quality diminishes.)
A couple other things: Game length isn't important -- short is fine, long and epic is fine too. I'm not so into horror or violence.
Ideally any suggestions would be, in order of idealness: (1) browser games, (2) free downloadable games, (3) Downloadable xbox360 and wii games (pay or not).
I hope I've given enough info (and not too many constraints) for you guys to work with. Thanks for any suggestions!