The Escapists is one of the new indie proposals that wants to carve out a niche in an industry where new and risky projects keep coming out . After a season in early access for Steam, the game developed by Mouldy Toof Studios (with the support
of a prominent company like Team17, creators of Worms, of course) is officially released on both the PC platform and Xbox One with a totally retro look and a formula that aims to entertain for hours and hours. The main objective: escape from a prison. And to make them we will have to deal with everything a prisoner has to deal with. Even with unlikely elements .
From an aerial view and an aspect of the 8-bit era, we control an inmate whose main mission is to achieve freedom. To do so, it is not enough to take the keys of a guard and escape through the front door, but we will have to draw a plan as if it were Prison Break .
The first five minutes serve to understand how we have to do it. We see how we use objects to reach a grid, we open it with another tool, we visit a prisoner
friend who sells us gadgets that we can later use to escape. Something very simple. Tremendously simple and that actually has nothing to do with what we will find when we see that this tutorial was, deep down, a dream.
This is where one begins adventure more deep , slow and complex than it may seem at first. As prisoners we have to carry out the tasks set by our schedule. Morning check- ins, breakfast, free time to walk, prepare to work on any of the tasks (clean clothes in the laundrette,
mop through the corridors, etc.), go to the gym, shower, pass reviews and return to eat. We are prisoners and we are not exactly on vacation, so it is necessary to follow the orders of the guards completely if we do not want to have problems. And this is when our cunning comes in and when the player has to find cracks to prepare his authentic plan.
While we are fulfilling our tasks -if we skip something they can punish us, beat us up , etc.- we also learn the behavior patterns of our colleagues and our enemies.
We study in passing the structure of the prison (there are six in total to each one more complicated and with more elements to take into account) and how we should move through it. Here we will learn several concepts to take into account: the first, the relationship with other characters. We can do favors to
win the support of certain prisoners and earn money that we can later use to spend buying various objects on the black market. Our decisions have consequences, and if we placate one prisoner at the request of another, we can not expect the former to be our friend.
Calibrating well the money we need and what we have to do in each moment is important, especially because the game has some inconsistencies in this regard. We will have rivals who will try to beat us for our acts but in return we can also do favors and collect them (and later, they will hit us again). Something that seems pointless and leaves some incoherence in the formula.
It is also important to see when the guards hit a partner and we can loot him while he is knocked out to get new objects. Along the way we can also improve our attributes by training in the gym, something that will allow us to be more forceful in the confrontations that we will have.