The Escapists Review
Xbox One | PC
The Escapists Box Art
System: PC*, Xbox One
Dev: Moldy Toof Studios
Pub: Team 17 Digital
Release: February 13, 2015
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Fantasy Violence, Suggestive Themes

"I tell you those voices soared, higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream." Well you won't find "The Marriage of Figaro" or even any Mozart in The Escapists, but the original chiptunes are sure to rekindle that nostalgic love. The synthesized melodies vary depending on the current activity. Peaceful xylophones lull you to sleep, marching snare drums signal you to fall in line during roll calls, and the rest are equally clever in their composition. It's a small selection overall, but makes each activity of the day distinguishable without having to look at the clock. The sound effects are equally discernible. You'll always be able to tell when there's a brawl occurring offscreen, a signal to head that way and relieve the unconscious victims of their possessions.

The Escapists Screenshot

"Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." The Escapists has enjoyed several months of early access on Steam, where it has seen new content and gameplay improvements filter in from a dedicated group of developers. I appreciate the care they are taking in this unique approach, complete with old-school flair. I feel the pace should be simmered down slightly to pair better with the controls, and having a more informed crafting system would allow players to remain in the game rather than shifting back and forth from a wiki page. Otherwise it is an experience full of variety due to the complexity of each prison, and a challenge to escape that demands your time and instills pressure.


"That's all it takes, really, pressure, and time. That and a big goddamn poster."

Sean Engemann
Contributing Writer
Date: February 10, 2015

The rigid GIF animations pair well with the limited but vibrant color palette. Having the Steam version share the same sleek interface as the Xbox One version would have been nice.
With the fast pacing of the game, the mouse and keyboard input is far inferior to using a controller. Overall, the speed could have been toned down a tad.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music selection isn't extensive, but it's a witty mix of tracks that easily distinguishes the activities of the day. The sounds effects follow suit.
Play Value
It's the same goal for each mission, but achieving that objective requires different tactics for each location. Other than improvements to the crafting system, the game is quite addictive.
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • 6 unique prisons to escape – from the minimal security of Center Perks to the harsh confines of the Stalag Flucht POW camp
  • 6 different methods to bust your way out including digging out and prison takeovers!
  • 10 prison jobs to earn you some vital escape funds. Choose from Laundry, Janitor, Mail Man, Metal Shop, Kitchen, Wood Work, Tailor, Deliveries, Gardener and Library work
  • Crafting system. Gather the necessary items you’ll need to craft items for your escape plan. Craft tools such as Cutters, Shovels, Sheet Ropes and weapons such as the Sock Mace, Comb Blade or Cup of Molten Chocolate!
  • Around 200 items to find including 50+ craftable items

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