Let’s Go to Prison With The Escapists
By Marcus Estrada
The Escapists did quite well for itself when being funded on Kickstarter. In the end they received about double the asking price and have been hard at work on the game ever since. The Escapists is still a ways from completion, currently eyeing Steam Greenlight, but already the game is ridiculously engaging. Here’s some thoughts on The Escapists as it currently stands.
As the name implies, The Escapists is all about escape – escape from prison in this case. Players start as one of many inmates decked in orange. With little explanation, you’re tasked with following the many daily routines of prison. Get out of line even a little bit and guards will not be pleased. Within my first day I was demoted from a lowly laundry job and ended up being beaten by both fellow prisoners and guards. Yep, not a very great start for my guy.
This was thanks to the fact that I simply had no idea how to control the game. Once that was taken care of things quickly started to slide into place. Not only was I able to launder clothes but also start discovering possible ways to be sneaky. Soon I was stealing contraband off other inmates and storing items away in their rooms in case of random searches. After finding recipes the world of crafting helpful and dangerous objects was opened to me. Things were finally starting to look up.
A lot of The Escapists, as it currently stands, revolves around the player learning on their own. Maybe at some point there will be a useful demo added but so far you don’t need one as long as you can spend a few hours with the game at first. Once you figure out the mechanics it’s finally time to start planning an escape. Unfortunately, I still felt beholden to most of the prison routines which cut into free time. For example, doing laundry is incredibly boring and cumbersome even though it rewards you with money.
Of course, this is not meant to be a fully free-roaming game. You’re a prisoner and are being treated accordingly. This is certainly unique and gives credence to the very rigid daily schedule and tasks. Still, it would be nice to see more tasks implemented to make things less of a slog for the player. Considering how much has been added as of late (guard towers, crafting, solitary confinement) it is likely we’ll see many more aspects of the prison open up in due time.
What amuses me most about The Escapists is its cute art style. The pixelated characters are tiny and adorable despite being confined in prison. The top down perspective is incredibly useful though as it allows players to see when guards are coming, as well as what lies behind doors. As it currently stands, The Escapists is already a strangely compelling game to play. With some more time, and comments from Early Access fans, I have no doubt that players will be treated to an even greater product as The Escapists marches toward completion.
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marcus.jpg”]Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. One day when he became fed up with the way sites would ignore niche titles he decided to start his own site by the name of Pixel Pacas. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come. Some of Marcus’s favorite games include Silent Hill 2, Killer7, and The Sims. [/author]