Review: Escape Academy: Escape from Anti-Escape Island DLC

Review – Escape Academy: Escape from Anti-Escape Island DLC
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Price – ​​$9.99 (requires you to own base version of game)

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

The Product:

Escape from Anti-Escape Island is a dlc expansion to 2022’s Escape Academy, a video game that worked to bring the escape room experience home.  After the crazy school year portrayed in the first game, the staff and students of Escape Academy are ready for a break.  Unfortunately for them, they have ended up on Anti-Escape Island.  This may be bad news for the characters, but for players it means several more escape-filled adventures.

Players will work to figure out what is going on with the island and how to best get away safely.  Navigating in first person, escapists will work a point-and-click style adventure that will have them exploring their surroundings and solving puzzles.  Mimicking the scoring system from the original game, players will receive grades at the end of each course based on their success, timing, and need for hints

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.  

As a duo, we completed the DLC in about two and a half hours.

Our Thoughts:

We continued our Escape Academy adventures through local multiplayer on the PS5.  

Escape Academy: Escape from Anti-Escape Island brings back everything players learned to expect for the original.  Players are still running around virtual environments trying to piece together different items and elements in order to find solutions.  

The narrative remains simple but engaging.  The story creates the framework and premise for the puzzles.  This time out, the challenges are presented as timed-crises instead of traditional escape rooms, but the mechanics and gameplay stay the same.  The cartoony characters remain true to the first game as well, so this game is still very family friendly.

For those who liked the puzzles from the first game (like us), you’ll find more to enjoy and work out.  The style of puzzles are varied and still draw a lot from what you might find in actual escape rooms: spread out information that needs to be assembled to make sense.  The puzzle types vary from spatial to logical to mathematical.  There is a little bit for everyone and the puzzles themselves are well-constructed.

In our review of the original we stated, “the timing feels right for what is being asked while still applying a bit of pressure.”  Unfortunately, that didn’t feel quite as true with this game.  It seemed that the game wanted to be more challenging for those already familiar with Escape Academy.  The puzzles themselves still felt like they sat around a medium difficulty level, but the added challenge felt like it stemmed from the number of puzzles squeezed into the time limit.  There is not much plenty for using too much time, but it can be a bit frustrating for those going for a perfect score on their first play through.

We were happy to revisit the world of Escape Academy for an additional five levels, and look forward to their next DLC drop, scheduled for Spring 2023.  

Escape Academy: Escape from Anti-Escape Island is a worthy follow-up to the original game.  The story remains simple, but the puzzles themselves remain fun and decently challenging.  The new game might not quite capture the magic of the first, but as a shorter adventure, it may not be fair to expect it to deliver at the same level.  We recommend playing the original Escape Academy first, and if you enjoyed that experience (which you probably will), Escape from Anti-Escape Island should provide some additional fun when you’re not quite ready to move on from the Escape Academy world.

Official C&C Score:

Narrative: 3/5
Puzzles: 4/5
Overall Fun: 4/5

Final Averaged Score: 4.33/5

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