The Escapists Reviews

  • MuscularTeaMuscularTea815,424
    02 Mar 2015 21 Apr 2015
    13 2 0
    *Originally posted at*

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    Take on the role of an inmate as you plot your escape in Mouldy Toof's latest strategy game

    The Escapists is a prison breaking game set in six different prisons across various locations each progressively more difficult than the last. As you explore the prisons, you must undertake the task of escaping the prison using any of the objects that you find at your fingertips. Highly strategy oriented, you’ll have to plan multiple steps ahead so that guards won’t be able predict what you’re planning on doing.

    Picked up and published by Worms studio Team17, The Escapists is the second game to be published under Team17’s third-party publishing label. Mouldy Toof studios’ only having one previous game Spud’s Quest that was funded through Kickstarter, now have their second game, The Escapists. Originally out on Steam through early access, the game is now released officially on both Steam and Xbox One on February 13th.

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    Starting the game, you’re thrown into a tutorial where you learn the basics of how to play the game and escape the prison where you essentially just walk right out of the prison. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as you’d of hoped. You wake up in your bed in the same prison with past persons in your life. You may have been in prison for 30 years, may have robbed a bank to get in here, but it doesn’t matter anymore since you’re not trying to live out your time in prison. You’re trying to escape.

    Tasking yourself with escaping the prison, you start your day by following a routine set by the prison you’re attending. You must attend meals, roll calls, exercise, shower times, and curfew, if not the guards become alert of you and will put you in your place, or worse send you to solitude for a few days and confiscate any items you have in your room that they deem contraband. You’ll find yourself increasing in health to take more damage when you exercise your strength, and speed when you train your speed. There is another stat as well, intelligence, this is increased by going to computers or the library and reading books and will be necessary to craft items later in the game.

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    Here’s where it starts to get tough. You’ll have to learn how to craft certain items that will be necessary to your escape. Certain items required to craft what you need will be contraband, so be careful when making them as the guards may confiscate them if they see you with them. If you want to have help learning what to craft or how to craft it, the only way in the game to access what to craft is through the payphone, you pay higher amounts for better information and better crafting materials. Now that you’ll have made your items, you’ll be able to plan your escape, be it digging from your room to the other side of the wall of the facility, crawling through the vents and cutting through the outer fence, or knocking out all the guards in the facility and just walking right out the front gate. What ever way you choose to escape you’ll be given a cutscene of your escape, and eventual capture then brought to a higher security prison. Each prison more difficult to escape then the last, electric fences, metal detectors, giant walls with sniper along the building, or even tropical jungle islands.

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    Overall The Escapists is a great strategy game, that anyone who wants a challenge can definitely find it in this game with the later prisons. Even the beginning prisons can give a challenge if you don’t know how to craft certain materials as the game doesn’t have an in game crafting guide like Minecraft has. You can save your game during lights out to carry on your progress for another time you play or to make sure if you get caught that you can load back to your previous sleep. So while there’s no major storyline to the game, you can morph your own story with your prison break. From the snarky comments of prison inmates and guards, to all out brawls during a roll call, there are sure to be hours of fun with this game.

  • MCoReviews XBLMCoReviews XBL3,395
    07 Mar 2015 07 Mar 2015
    5 2 0
    Pixelated games are only one of the few additions that devs bring to the ID@Xbox. program The Escapists is one of those games that has made its way to Xbox One. Combine the graphics with a setting that hasn’t been used too much and some decent puzzles, people could start breaking out of their respective institution. But is the game enjoyable for all?

    You start with an easy tutorial of how breaching out can be. Everything in that tutorial is pre-scripted, so there’s no way of getting out using other equipment or tools. During that tutorial, all controls are being rapidly thrown at you and soon, you are outside the prison walls. But then, the game really starts and it obviously isn’t as easy as it was during the tutorial. The choices are a bit overwhelming and there’s no scaffolding of any sort. Some could be left with a feeling of “what do I do now?” when your first real day starts. So you go accepting the jobs other prisoners have for you, which mostly consist of the same thing: beating up people, distracting guards or fetching items. Not only is this repetitive, it doesn’t really help you advance to meet the objective.

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    You are making friends and enemies during your days, and the enemies you’ve first made never seem to remember you had previously completed a mission for them after you had to beat them up. Because of that, walking around the prison is extremely frustrating since you will get beaten up by those who want revenge quite frequently. The people who like you can sell you some additional tools you can use for crafting several items, which should help in escaping but as noted before, the first prison isn’t really going to tell you what to do.

    The days in prison consist of pre-scripted events, but not following the orders of the guards doesn’t seem to get you into too much trouble. If you want to spend an entire day in the gym or LOL’ing at cats behind a computer, no problem. There’s no real rounding up or headcount during your prison time. Eating isn’t a requirement either, as you will get energy from taking a shower. If you fail to complete your task within the prison system, you only get fired. That gives you some more time to investigate how to meet your objective. When darkness falls, the guards announce whose cells are being looked over. If you have a forbidden item, you get to spend some nights in a seperated cell, and all items will be taken away. In those instances, you can load up a previous save and try again.

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    The possibilities are endless, and that is the only strength of this game. Even though it can be enjoyed by those that love to spend an entire (real time) day on finding each of the flaws that help you escape, it doesn’t sound really appealing to other people which is on its turn perfectly fine. The developers of this game didn’t try to create or replicate a triple A title, and it doesn’t have to be. In fact, the possibilities only add to the replayability which is sorely absent from previous ID@Xbox titles.

    There isn’t much to say about the graphics of The Escapists, other than they’re pixelated. The graphics harken back to older games on older handhelds such as the Game Boy. Really, the pixelated graphics fit perfectly with the game. There are no frame drops or occasions in where the game freezes. The sound of the game also aligns perfectly with the games graphics. Everything fits together perfectly to make this title unique in every possible way. There’s no voice acting, but the text bubbles make it clear as to what other inmates and guards are saying so it isn’t extremely missed.

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    The achievements in The Escapists aren’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. Only one achievement is earned in your attempts to escape all possible prisons, and all the others encompass various tasks, including earning money, raising intelligence, being naked, etc. Earning every possible achievement in the game will require some time, but for those who are looking at every possible option to get out of every possible prison it will come rather sooner than later.

    The Escapists is unique in many ways, but won’t appeal to everybody and will only attract those that are willing to spend an enormous amount of time in the game to figure out some possible strategies. The setting is unique and as previously noted, the possibilities in The Escapists are endless. For those reasons, the game feels like one that shouldn’t be missed by those who enjoy Escapist-type games.

    *** Spoiler - click to reveal ***