Prison escapes often make for riveting entertainment, so it’s a bit surprising that there aren’t more games built around that concept. Thankfully, gamers looking to satiate their hunger to break out of large buildings have reason to look forward to The Escapists, which arrives on Steam Early Access on August 20 for £6.99/$9.99/8,99 €.
The Escapists is a top-down strategic adventure game that casts players as a prisoner within one of several prisons that they can choose from before the game actually begins. As you probably know by now, the ultimate goal is to escape said prison, but the path to that achievement will entail a huge variety of activities that players must constantly juggle between.
Players must, of course, maintain the guise of an obedient prisoner by attending roll call, eating at the cafeteria, and working one of several mundane prison jobs, whether it is at the laundry room, wood shop or metal shop. In between these activities, they must plot their escape through a variety of means.
Escaping from prison requires the help of fellow prisoners, and so players must do what they can to gain favor with them, such as by doing favors for them and learning which prisoners to pick a fight with and which ones not to. Players can also build up their strength, intellect and speed by using the prison’s facilities, and over a hundred items can be crafted, from shanks to disguises and so on.
Maintaining balance between pleasing both guards and inmates requires a lot of finesse, and the game keeps track of this with a percentage counter for both factions.
At its present stage, The Escapists contains everything a player needs to plot and execute an escape plan. However, once fully released, the game will have significantly more prisons to play in, more prison jobs, more avatar customization, more items to craft, and ways to escape. Additionally, it will also include a prison editor, ensuring endless amounts of replayability.
The Escapists is developed by Mouldy Toof, who also worked on Spud’s Quest. Sole developer Chris Davis previously Kickstarted The Escapists to the tune of £7,131 last November, well over its original £3000 goal. Last February, Worms developer Team 17 took on publishing duties for the game. Recently, the game passed Steam’s Greenlight within a week of its submission.
In addition to the PC, the game will also be out on the Xbox One next year and is already playable at Gamescom at the ID@Xbox booth in Hall 6.