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 to 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.
Starting the game, you’re thrown straight into a tutorial where you learn the basics of how to play the game and escape a prison where you can essentially just walk right out of. 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!
Tasked with escaping the prison, you begin your day by following a routine set out by the prison guards. You must attend meals, roll calls, exercise, shower, and there’s curfew. If you fail to adhere to the guidelines, the guards become more alert and will put you in your place, or worse still, 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, the same with 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.
Here’s where The Escapists 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 catch you in possession of them. A payphone is on hand if you find yourself stuck and unable to craft, using the payphone costs higher amounts but you get 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. Whatever 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 becomes more difficult to escape than the last; electric fences, metal detectors, giant walls with a sniper along the building, or even tropical jungle islands.
Overall The Escapists is a great strategy game, that anyone who wants a challenge can definitely find with its later prisons. Even the beginning prisons offer a challenge if you don’t know how to craft certain materials, with a lack of in-game crafting guide much like Minecraft. 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.