The Escapists is a fun retro bit throwback and a challenging prison puzzle game. It takes place over 9 different prisons in a sandboxed environment. Each prison has its own unique ways of mastering an escape. You can choose to make nice with your other inmates or beat them up for mini-quests to gain some money. Each day starts with a roll call, then onto daily lifestyle activities such as breakfast, workout, showers, free periods, lunch, and dinner.
The object of the game is to think smart, plan your escape, and time it perfectly. It is easy to get caught and lose your gear. It can also be cumbersome to craft new gear as you have to level up certain stats such as becoming educated by LOLing at cats on the library computers. Need a shovel? Find the stuff to make one. Need to take over a job for more cash or items? Shank an inmate and apply.
The Escapists is difficult. Planning is everything and the timing of your searches of other inmates’ cells for items has to be precise. If you get caught by the local guards cruising the hallways you can cause quite a stir from a stern warning to an all-out chase around the prison. Good thing you took the time to do the laundry, found some metal sheets, and made a plated outfit, eh? Oh and don’t forget to try and stash your important stuff in other cell mates’ toilets and desks. It comes in handy when you run out of room.
This game is perfect in every way it is supposed to be. In fact, so perfect, that you will get frustrated. It is hard to be sly and avoid detection. Even with posters on the ground, items stashed in toilets, and bed sheets over bars that guards remove frequently, it is easy to be seen trying to escape. There is nothing worse of a feeling than digging a hole, covering it up and then you get caught doing something else to be thrown into solitary confinement with your hard work reset back to normal. Treat every day like Day 1.
Once you escape you feel relieved – all those hours put into crafting or building up stats have now resulted in glorious success, until you hit that next prison. Day 1 all over again. It feels repetitive but unique. It has enough pop culture references and humor to get you hooked, but doing the same thing repeatedly becomes tedious. It’s not a bad game in any way but it’s not something you would want to play for hours on end.
I tried to stay on the good side of all the other inmates, do my daily job, and follow the simulation as well as I could except for role calls and eating. It could be why my escapes took hours, but I would be interested to see how you handled your time in The Escapists. Drop a comment below and let us know!