The Escapists dazzle with a novel approach. Our aim is to escape from progressively guarded jails, and the game makes no demands on how we will accomplish so. However, while in jail, we must adhere to the predetermined daily program and keep an eye out for the guards. A wonderful idea for an engrossing puzzle game, on the other hand, is swiftly undermined by poorly thought-out gameplay.
At first sight, the game appears to be a Gameboy title, with little, practically square characters seen from above, and the movements and sounds further add to this image. The simplistic interface, which consists largely of symbols, is easy to use and allows you to concentrate on the action. We begin the journey with a brief lesson that demonstrates how to change furniture in the cell, build tunnels, and do a few other important tasks during escapes. After finishing it, we find ourselves in the first, most basic jail, where we discover that all of our information is utterly worthless. Yes, we can conceal the tunnel being excavated in the cell, but we have no idea about the majority of the actions we will undertake throughout the day.
The real gameplay relies on a precise strategy that we must adhere to in order to avoid offending the guards and ending up in the medical wing without any stuff. When thinking out how to escape, we must remember to show up to the cafeteria, gym, or if we’re lucky the chosen workplace at the agreed-upon hours and stay for the requisite length of time. No one will be furious if we dig a tunnel or drill a hole in the wall in our spare time. Of course, just as long as we go unnoticed. Each jail is its own challenge to solve. As the difficulty level grows, the arrangement of hallways, chambers, and air ducts changes, thus escape plans that succeed in one spot may be entirely worthless in another. The developers do not compel us to choose a single solution if we don’t have the patience to build a tunnel to freedom, we may always wrap up the guard’s uniform and other materials required to escape.
Clicking on the fascinating object until the intended result is accomplished is how you interact with the environment. We earn sympathy from our fellow inmates, develop our intelligence by utilizing the Internet, and complete jail tasks in this manner. This basic technique quickly becomes tedious, especially since not everything always works as it should and the cabinet, once lifted for a moment, cannot be returned if the pointer is not in the proper place. The gaming approach frequently leads to ludicrous scenarios, such as running about clicking on everyone there to get a few compassion points from each of them during a roll call where guards chose targets to check for contraband.
Tasks offered by fellow convicts provide diversity and a means of obtaining the necessary monies. They instruct us to beat up another inmate, distract the guards, or provide a certain object in exchange for money to purchase hints or lost equipment. Unfortunately, basic chores that are done repeatedly get dull with time, so we accomplish them mechanically and without enjoyment. The Escapists’ main strength is that we have to think about and plan each escape. When we finally make it through the prison gates, we are ecstatic.
Unfortunately, the route to escape involves monotonous, repeated gaming, and the scoreboard visible after finishing the levels minimizes our success – generally, another player got out quicker and more thoughtfully. It’s an intriguing form of problem that becomes difficult with time, and we don’t want to return to it.