Follow Beetle001 each week while he plays with himself and quick-fire reviews a single player game.
I’m a huge fan of single player gaming – most of the time I enjoy it more than competitive gaming. Nothing beats kicking back and relaxing to the experience of a well constructed and great single player game using my experience and enjoyment of the genre, I thought I’d apply it to a weekly review of a single player game (available on Steam).
Today I’m taking a look at The Escapists, by Mouldy Toof Studios.
The Escapists is an unassuming top down game with a simple goal – escape from a prison. Each level brings with it a new prison, increasing in security and difficulty. This difficulty can appear quite steep – three prisons in you’ll not only rely on your wit and surroundings but on the help of fellow inmates too, adding even more depth to a very deep game that appears at surface level to be quite simple.
For those that don’t normally play single player indie titles, the first thing we should discuss are graphics.
The graphics have been given a backseat, not because they’re bad – they aren’t, but because they simply aren’t necessary here. The game plays so incredibly well within the pixelated walls of each prison that you don’t even pay the lack of a AAA-style 3D universe a second thought. The art in this game is excellent and you’ll grow to appreciate its subtlety and uncrowded approach quickly. You’re not once left wondering what a pixelated shape is – all of the objects within the game are very easy to identify.
You’ll need to get intimate with the items available around the prison – what’s allowed, what’s contraband and how to move the items around or how to hide these items when you’re up for a shakedown. I often found myself genuinely concerned for the life of my little prisoner and scurried around trying to stop the guards from finding my toothbrush shiv or hole in the wall covered by a poster. The feeling of disdain you grow to have for the guards is something I can only describe as the video game version of Stockholm Syndrome.
The escaping part of your life in prison takes place between the routines of the prison – meal times, gym times, shower times and lights out. Each prison’s schedule is different and you’ll find yourself living the normal life of a prisoner for a few days to learn it before embarking on your late night escapades, covered by the bed dummy you’ve put in your bed while you’re crawling through the vents looking for your way out.
The Escapists is a solid indie game that won’t disappoint you if you can look past the pixelated world it presents (you should be able to – don’t be that guy). My only criticism of the mechanics of the game is the rather shallow way you gain the inmate’s trust – it all feels a little bit too repetitive.
Get the game on Steam here:
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