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cover-Escape Simulator

Sunday, April 23, 2023 4:53:52 PM

Escape Simulator Review (Sickoxide)

In short, I would highly recommend this game if you're into escape rooms and/or puzzler type games. To be completely transparent, I bought this game on sale when it was a few dollars off about a month back, but it allowed me to purchase all of the discounted DLC as well, but even at full price, you really do get a lot for your money - even without the added DLC.
I frequent escape rooms in the real world. I've never done any virtual escape rooms so I'm not exactly sure how this game would compare to an experience like that, but I've thoroughly enjoyed stimulating my brain and taking a break from the mainstream types of games like shooters and RPG's with this gem. I initially exhausted all of the free to play options for escape room games on steam, and some were decent whereas others weren't that great, but as to be expected especially considering the price (none).
I can honestly say that when it came time to spending money on an escape game, there are a few that stood out to me and that I still have on my wishlist to eventually pick up, but Escape Simulator seemed to have the most going for it in that the BASE game has over 20 different escape rooms across 4 entirely different themes - each with their own aesthetic and puzzle types - not to mention the versatility of community rooms and an editor that you can use to create your own. The fact that the team at Pine Studios consistently curates their top picks for the previous month makes everything feel new and will keep me coming back even after fully completing this game. They also have been known to add free DLC rooms, like their newest: Leonardo's Workshop, which is a room full of many puzzles and gives you upwards of an hour to escape versus the standard 15 minutes.
The Steampunk & Wild West DLC, especially if you can get on sale, would come highly recommended by me as well. Each consists of four separate rooms, again, fitting the overall "chapter" or "series" of rooms, but completely unique from eachother. These rooms also have an escape time of 45 minutes, meaning more puzzles and more fun to work your way through - worth every penny!
I didn't find many of the puzzles to be overly complicated throughout my play, although they weren't particularly easy either. I found there to be a great mix of general logic puzzles as well as your standard lock/key/combinations, which typically I'm more a fan of the latter. It feels very rewarding to complete a room and finish it with seconds or minutes to spare to secure the trophy over the participation ribbon!
Another great feature that I found works seamlessly, aside from a few laggy connection issues, is the ability to play co-op as easily as you can play solo. Playing co-op with your friends, or even finding some in the active community on Steam or Pine Studio's Discord, presents a different element and sometimes a completely different challenge in itself. Communication is key, and I definitely found solo play easier since YOU'RE the one with access to all of the clues and information. There is so much to pick up and inspect in each of these rooms, and not all of the "props" have a purpose so things can get cluttered at times - especially factoring in the ability to break different items around the room. It was a very good idea for them to add a garbage can to let you clean up as you go and keep things simple and organized.
The inventory system is great, too. Although it's unlimited and in theory, you could hold on to everything you find in the room, I found that once you're at over 9 items, the hot keys become a real pain to use and the controls suddenly feel very clunky.
The tokens, although a fun little tidbit as seemingly every game needs to have some sort of collectable these days, don't do anything. One of my only negatives for this game would be that there should be some incentive to collecting these aside from the achievement at the end. Don't get me wrong, I did it, but I didn't enjoy it. It would be cool if maybe it unlocked some unique appearance options since they spent at least a little time with allowing you to customise your character.
Again, all-in-all, TL;DR: If you're into escape room games in real life and haven't tried any video games of this style, you can't go wrong with this one. If, like me, you started with trying some free escape room games, I can't recommend Escape Simulator high enough as the first one to spend money on as the few naggy negatives I have about this game really don't pertain to the core of what it is at all. You won't be disappointed, especially if you like these types of games!
As a final note, and partially why I was able to spend nearly 50 hours on this game is because I enjoyed it so much, I put together some short guides on how to solve some of the most complex puzzles in each of the rooms - as well as full room walkthroughs for each of the rooms available currently, with the exception of community rooms. If you want to "try before you buy" or if you're needing some help after using your last hint, check out our Friendly Frenzy Games YouTube channel!