REVIEW: Escape Simulator

Escape Simulator will relieve you from the itch of wanting to play escape rooms, whether alone or together.

Released: Steam
Type: Single-player, Online co-op
Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Pine Studio
Publisher: Pine Studio
Release date: 19 Oct, 2021

Intro

If you haven’t noticed it already, Escape Simulator is a simulator of escape rooms. It plays out just like how the name sounds: you need to figure out how to escape a room from the available clues. The game offers both single-player and co-op mode, but since I finished the game in the single-player mode, this review will be focused on that.

Visuals

Escape Simulator is played in 4 different themed areas. Each level in the area looks different, yet connected somehow, giving you the impression that you are moving between places doing an unknown objective. The environment looks cute with its bright color palette although objects are still made in great detail to make it look as similar as to how it should be.

The Game

Gameplay

The game is played out similar to escape rooms. You’ll play in a locked room with one objective: to escape. You need to explore the whole room, trying to find clues hidden beneath the objects to find anything that can help you to fulfill your objective. Your brain will be tested as the game challenges you with logic puzzles with no instructions. It’s also your job to figure out the instructions from the available objects, by the way.

Despite the existence of the hint button, it doesn’t seem to be helpful if you already figured out most of the clues. Hints will be offered in the form of cards to give additional clues on how to escape the room. The thing is, the cards might give you clues on what you already figured out, and you need to wait for a certain interval to get a new card.

You can pin key items to make it easier to solve the puzzles.

Puzzles are clever. You need to figure out how they work most of the time, relying on other objects that can give you information about it. The variance of the puzzles given in the levels won’t make you bored from solving them. There might be some that require you to do the same initial steps, but the concepts are usually different.

If you want more out of the game, it also offers collectibles. Eight collectibles are hidden throughout the levels for you to find. Most of them are hidden in the least unexpected places, forcing you to explore every object in detail. To be honest, I didn’t like hunting for these since they are very hard to find. Moreover, there is no hint or whatsoever that can help you to find them. I’m glad that finding these aren’t needed to finish the game.

Some objects are hidden beneath other objects, forcing you to figure out how to open them to get what you are looking for.

Length and Difficulty

I finished all 16+1 levels in 7h. The length between levels varies based on how good you are, but the game will give a different type of completion if you manage to finish them within the 15-minute mark. I admit that I got stuck a lot of times on some levels. Sometimes, I didn’t know how to figure out the obscure hints or how to solve a puzzle despite having the clues in hand.The hints are helpful to some extent, but it feels useless waiting for new cards when the one that you got told you what you already knew.

As for the difficulty, it depends on your understanding of the clues. I found some levels to be harder than others because I didn’t understand the clues. Still, they are not really hard to figure out once you know what to do. There is always that aha moment when I managed to solve them.

Problems

Using key items (shovel, trowel, and others) are a bit tricky. You’ll throw the item if you use it at the wrong place, making me avoid using it most of the time.

Specs

Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

Verdict

Despite having some difficulties, I still enjoyed playing Escape Simulator. Exploring the room to find clues never gets old with the variance in the puzzles, and puzzles are not easy either. It’s always satisfying to figure out how to solve them yourself after thinking about it for a long time. If you still need more levels, the game also has a workshop feature to let you spend more time with the game. It’s basically what I would expect from playing an escape room, and you’ll definitely enjoy it if you like playing these kinds of games.

Written by
aquatorrent
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