Escape Simulator | Review
Escape Simulator Review | Escape Simulator is a first-person puzzler you can play solo or in an online co-op. Explore a growing set of highly interactive escape rooms. Move furniture, pick up and examine everything, smash pots and break locks! Supports community-made rooms through the level editor.
Developer: Pine Studio
Console Played On: Steam
Time Taken: 3 Hours
Number Of Players: 1
Escape Simulator is finally here! And yes, we’re thrilled. After all we’ve been patiently waiting for this game ever since they announced it in September.
*let me innnnn*
We spent a lot of time on The Escape Roomer between us various video game editors deciding if a video game is close enough to an escape room to review it. Is a point-and-click adventure sufficiently puzzle-y? What about unravelling a mystery? Deduction puzzles, are they puzzley enough?
But there’s no mistaking Escape Simulator. The clue is in the name. Escape Simulator is an escape room simulator game. The idea is simple: solve puzzles to escape from the rooms. So lets get into it:
About Escape Simulator
Escape Simulator has three themes of escape room:
- The Labyrinth of Egypt
- Adrift in Space
- Edgewood Manor
Each of these settings has 5 rooms to solve which get steadily more difficult as you progress. There’s a time limit of 15 minutes per room – although these serve as more of a ‘time guidance’ as the only thing that happens if you fail to escape is you miss out on extra achievements.
They’re short fire games at 15 minutes each, and it’s very hard to stop ionce you’ve started! The next level is only 15 minutes… Which is how I found myself still up and playing the game in the dim computer light at 3am one night!
Players can move around the 3D spaces and pick up and examine objects closer in their inventory. There are a number of tokens to find throughout the rooms (again, just for extra achievements though), and many tactile puzzles to uncover and solve throughout the spaces.
Since each escape room has it’s own unique personality and flavour, it’s hard to say which are my favourite – but I probably vibed the best with the Edgewood Manor series. What can I say I love Victoriana! But the early Labyrinth of Egypt games were a lot of fun too, the perfect introduction to the experience.
On the flip side, I would mention that when I played the game there was no hint system. This means it’s very easy to get stuck… And I mean really stuck. But once you get through the first few games you begin to get a feel for it. For example, one tip I realised far too late (after about 11 rooms) is that items related to puzzles are indicated clearly in the inventory, and the rest you can toss away.
Co-Op Escape Room Video Game
One of the coolest things about Escape Simulator is that there’s a co-op mode which I loved! Only a few days before I heard of the game I was lamenting to a friend that most good escape room video games (with one notable exception) are single player.
Escape Simulator makes it really easy to play with a friend. You start a game and share a code and voila – the two of you can move around freely within the escape room together!
There are a few caveats however. Firstly, the rooms you can play in co-op are the same as the single player rooms. If you chose to play the game entirely in single player, you can’t then play co-op as you’ll have solved the rooms already. The same is true in reverse. None of the puzzles (which I encountered) were co-operative puzzles, which means that the co-op mode felt slightly like an add on.
Secondly, there is no in-built voice communication in Escape Simulator, meaning you should fire up a call with the person you’re playing with. The key to solving any good escape room is, afterall, communication.
But still, I’m glad they did include co-op, as it’s more fun to play with your friend than alone!
Create Your Own Escape Room
In truth we received our Escape Simulator code a little early for review purposes which was fantastic. We quickly leapt into the escape room immersivity and worked our way through the exciting scenarios to our heart’s content. But instead of posting this review right away on Day 1, we chose to wait a little longer. Why? The very best thing about Escape Simulator is the build-your-own-room feature, meaning the real gem is the long term longevity of the community creations!
Kinda like how Skyrim is a great game and 300 hours later you’re like “huh pretty cool” and then you go and open up the Steam workshop and end up spending 1,000 more hours on the mods to the point you no longer remember what was in the original game and what is the glorious creation of a fan-dev.
Escape Simulator is a little like that.
For sure, it helps that my day job is a Game Designer – but I found the escape room workshop pretty intuitive and accessible. Having now created and played plenty of community creations, there’s an almost endless amount of possibilities when it comes to what you can create. You’re given all the objects from the previous four environments, but can combine them in some creative ways to make entirely new puzzles the game developers hadn’t even though of, which I like.
At the time of writing Escape Simulator has been out for about one week and there’s a fair amount in the workshop already. I expect that as the game matures, even more brilliant rooms will be available to play, giving the game some real longevity. I look forward to picking up my controller in a year or more’s time and losing a lot of time in the wonderful world of Escape Simulator…
Keep an eye out for a “Best Escape Simulator Workshop Games” post in the near future!
So what’s the verdict? I really enjoyed it! No surprises there. But honestly, it’s a well rounded escape room video game that’s been long missing in the video game world. I’ll be recommending this to anyone who wishes to dip their toes into the wonderful world of escape rooms – and doubly recommending it to anyone who wants to have a go at designing their own!
With it’s smooth gameplay, relaxing music and bright, poppy graphics, it’s just a lovely game. My only criticism is that I wish were was more of it out the box – more levels, more puzzles, and more world’s to explore! I also think this would be a fantastic VR game, but hey, a girl can dream!
Escape Simulator can be downloaded on Steam.
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