There are many indie games on the market today and whether that be on the PC, Xbox, or PlayStation each one has its own uniqueness and appeal to it. Although, there are others that try to leech off of others successes, some do come out with their own originality. One of those games just happened to recently flip out of early access and bash into its own spot on Steam and it’s called “The Escapists.” The game puts you in the role of an inmate, who the player gets to lightly customize (i.e change his look, race, hair type) and name him whatever you see fit. You can also name other NPCs you interact with as well before you start each scenario. Once you start a new game it is definitely advisable to select the tutorial just due to the fact you can easily get confused about what your end goals are while playing.
After the tutorial is all said and done it is off to Prison. The goal of the game is clear, Escape. Pretty simple right? Well believe it or not it will actually get extremely complicated as well as pretty hard in the end so lets start at the beginning. When you start your first scenario (a.k.a Prison) you will notice things are pretty lax in this one, prisoners get free cable, good meals, and plenty of time for exercising, working, as well as eating, all with some free time on their hands in between. This scenario itself honestly is meant to test what you learned in the tutorial all while teaching you about the other things the tutorial didn’t touch on i.e jobs, skills, daily routine and many other things involving how you can work your big escape.
In order to get a good escape going one needs to study the daily routine of the prison, first is roll call, then breakfast, free time, lunch etc etc. The game tries to get players to study this routine so that they can use their time in game to plan and execute their escape. Be wary though because the guards around the prison do get suspicious of you more and more as you miss routines i.e breakfast, exercising time, or shower time (just some of many examples to use). So it is up to the player to use there time wisely and look for a good opening if they are going to plan their escape during the day, and execute it during the night and viceversa.
This game also utilizes the ability to craft many items in game, some of which you can use for escaping or the bludgeoning and beating of other NPCs. Most of the items required to craft can either be stolen or bought from other inmates, or can be found in certain areas of the prison you are in. Most, if not all of these items will come in very handy in the future as well as the ability to craft these items as you progress into harder and more stricter prisons.
Along with the crafting implementation the game also features the ability to increase certain skill traits that you withhold in order to make certain things easier for you to do i.e crafting, fighting, and how fast you can run. These skills are Strength, Intelligence, and Agility. Each one of these skills can be increased as you go through each prison either by lifting weights, run on a treadmill, or browsing the web. These skills can be very crucial when it comes to trying to escape especially if the guards are extremely fast and very tough.
This game brings a lot to the table in terms of a game where you are trying to escape different high correctional facilities. One last major part of the game I thoroughly enjoyed was the fact there is not just one way to escape, there a more than a couple in each facility so you can always go back, check, and see if there is an easier way to do it, or a harder way that you may have missed on your first way out.
The Escapists is definitely a unique spin on older pixelated games as its own game. It was definitely well thought out and implemented in the best way possible. The use of the daily routines was definitely a really well done idea in order to give the player a bit more realism in terms of trying to simulate prison life. Obviously it isn’t perfect to the T but this game definitely puts a spin on indie titles and is well worth recommending to anyone out there with a PC, Mac or Xbox One.
Overall Score: 10/10
RGN Rating: Diamond Game
Developer: Mouldy Toof Studios
Publisher: Team 17 Digital Ltd
Available on: XO | PC | Steam OS | PS4 (Coming Soon)
Played On: Windows PC
Review copy info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.