Review: Escape Academy

Review – Escape Academy
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Price – ​​$19.99 or $34.99 (for the deluxe version)

Disclaimer: we purchased the game with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own.

The Product:

Escape Academy is a video game that aims to bring the fun of escape rooms into homes.  Players will take on the role of students attending Escape Academy, a program aimed to create the greatest escapists in the world.

Each of the professors have created challenging courses (escape rooms) to test students.  Players will even receive grades at the end of each course based on their success, timing, and need for hints.  If a player can collect all ten badges from their school, they will have accomplished a successful first year.

Escape Academy can be taken on through single player or two player (online or local play).  The game is rated for ages 13+ and is currently available on PlayStation 4, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X and Series S, and PlayStation 5.  

Do you have what it takes to become the world’s greatest escapist?

Our Thoughts:

We took on the PS5 version of Escape Academy as a local co-op experience.  The game is an absolute blast and does an amazing job of recreating the feel of a real escape room.  We actually had to run around the virtual rooms, figuring out what the rooms had to offer and how different elements of the setting might work together.  The ticking-away timer adds a level of pressure that will keep you moving and may add a dash of good stress as well.  

There are about a dozen levels in Escape Academy and the game is great at making each room feel unique.  The settings and goals change, but more importantly, the puzzles in the different levels never feel repetitive.  Each level will have players thinking differently and playing with elements specific to that area.  

The puzzles in each room vary in difficulty, but we would label the challenge level as a medium or slightly above medium.  Personally, we never needed any hints and we received an A+ grade on each level except for one where the game had to give us extra time to complete the room (sigh, an extra five seconds to place the last item in its spot and we would have been fine).  For those who do need help, the hint system is a quick button press away.

Each level gives players anywhere from about 20-45 minutes to get through them.  The timing feels right for what is being asked while still applying a bit of pressure.  The individual and often not-too-long rooms make it easy to fit in a quick play session when you have the time. 

The game’s story is pretty simple, but it serves the purpose of getting players into escape rooms and situations pretty well.  A lot of the narrative is: here’s another professor, take on their challenge now, but there are a few curve balls thrown in here and there.  You probably won’t be amazed by the story, but again it does its job.  The actual character you meet can be a little fun too.  

Since this is a video game, we feel it’s important to talk about the aspects that come with that.  The controls are pretty simple and streamlined, but obviously your level of ease will depend on your comfort with video game controls in general.  We did have the occasional “Do what I need you to do!” moment, but in general, the game worked well and we had no issue with our inputs.  The controls never stood in our way of solving puzzles and enjoying the game.  

The graphics are a little more on the cartoony side, and it creates a nice aesthetic that fits the game well.  We liked the look, but there are plenty of trailers available if you need to judge it for yourself before deciding on the game.

*For those a little more prone to motion sickness, we should warn that the game is in first-person.

Our only real complaint is that Escape Academy is so short.  In total, the game probably took us between five and six hours to complete fully.  The game is only about $20 though, so asking for more at that price point might be unreasonable.  There is a deluxe version of the game available that will give players access to more puzzles by the end of this year (2022) and the spring of next year (2023).  We’re already on board for more.

Escape Academy is a quick but fun game that does a wonderful job of recreating a real escape room experience in the comfort of your own home.  The puzzles are well-crafted and provide a good level of challenge for the time given during each level.  The game’s story is a bit simple, but the puzzles and gameplay are where this one truly shines.  If you have access to any of the platforms that carry Escape Academy we highly recommend it. 

Official C&C Score:

Narrative: 3.5/5

Puzzles: 4.5/5

Overall Fun: 5/5

Final Averaged Score: 4.33/5

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