Might & Magic VI | Temple of Baa
The Escapists is a game about escaping out of a series of prisons. You could be an outstanding remodel inmate that never misses an attendance roll call or someone who does not play by any of the rules that are endlessly getting put into the hole. Either way sooner or late you have hatched a grand escape and only time will tell if you are successful.
It’s nice that there are a few different ways you can work towards your next escape. That is unless the guards discover your plans, a needed item gets confiscated, or you end up in a fight with another inmate. Setbacks do happen and what you thought was only going be a couple of days stay turned into months of failure in finding a weak point for escaping.
One of the more interesting things about The Escapists is the fact that they have quite the crafting system. Not only do items have requirements to be able to craft them. They also have recipes that you need to discover. Some of them are quite easy and others you will be working on for a while.
I usually found myself searching through other prisoner’s belongings during the day when they were out walking around in the yard or off at another activity. Needless to say, you can turn into quite the packrat since you never know when you will get busted and need something else to move forward with your plan.
The biggest struggle for the player is trying to hold onto critical items such as what you need to mold a key with. Random shakedowns or getting caught by the guards doing something you are not supposed to be doing can cost you some needed items you have found along the way.
You can also go out and acquire items directly from an inmate. For those who prefer to play the long game that is one possible route to go buy paying with money. I never liked having to earn in prison and then pay a high price for an item just to get it confiscated a few days later. It is a prison after all and sometimes there are crimes of opportunity you can take advantage of for free loot.
You also had a lot of what you would expect to find in-game about escaping prison as far as crafting goes. You could make weapons out of all sorts of things from soap in a sock as a weapon to a fake doll to use during lights out as you make your great escape just to name a few.
One of the themes the game plays heavy into when you are in different prisons trying to discover how to escape is mundane daily routine while within the walls. You get woke up every day at the same time and are accepted to be at certain places such as the canteen for lunch at the right time. Not making the proper appearance looks suspect and raises your threat level.
One thing you learn early on is how close to the actual daily routine that you need to follow. You after all need quite some time planning and working on your escape. If you did nothing else but eat, sleep, and shower you would never escape. Granted some of those locations along the way can provide some opportunities.
The game even gives you time to hold a job while within jail if you choose. I often found myself working in the laundry room. It provided an excellent opportunity to acquire a guard’s uniform without having to take out a guard. Other times I found myself getting fired from the job just so I could gain an extra hour I was not being expected somewhere for more nefarious activities.
Not everything you were scheduled to do was worth skipping as well. After all who would skip leg day? You are going need work on pumping some iron if you find yourself in an altercation later on. Losing a fight is a clear setback that can cost your health points and items you have acquired. As such unless I was in a real hurry to saw though a metal bar or break a wall with a spoon I went to the gym when expected.
There is also that thrilling feeling of avoiding getting caught where you are not supposed to be. You could attempt to outrun the guards if you get caught in some of the early prisons. The game only gets harder as you go and sometimes the best opportunities as ones you can take advantage of appearing to be following the rules.
Doing People A Favor
You would not expect a game like The Escapists to have a lot of quests to take on from your fellow inmates but you would be mistaken. After all your goal is to escape and for many they want to speed run doing such a thing. It seems almost everyone needs some kind of favor and it just so happens you are the person who can help them.
A lot of these favors you can take on are written in a way that sounds justified for the actions being asked. Someone usually got caught stealing from another inmate and revenge is wanted. Thankfully you can acquire a few different weapons and you don’t always have to resort to just using your fists. If all else fails there is always making a shiv.
A lot of the other times people are looking to acquire a certain item. Unless another inmate walking around with that item and not looking to sell it to you which will require some force. You could often find it while wandering around and stealing everything in sight.
Some of the harder favors I had found involved dealing with the guards themselves. They have more than angered a few inmates who are looking to seek revenge. While these higher rick quests could pay quite well you often had to ask yourself if it was worth the risk. If you get caught trying to take down a guard you could find yourself surrounded and taken out in no time flat.
Oddly enough I found the quest log to not be large enough to take on every favor being asked of you. Often I would just accept whatever I randomly found a prisoner offering. You never know what or when opportunity strikes where you find yourself completing the task at hand with very little risk to yourself.
All of this leads up to the most important part of The Escapists the actual escape. This requires quite the prep work for and many times trying and failing. You would think with how many attempts I had made at escaping the guards would be paying closer attention to what I was doing.
The prisons themselves usually have quite a few layers you need to bypass for the taste of freedom. You might find yourself spending days chipping away at a wall in hopes of not getting caught and weakening it enough so you could break it during lights out and not get caught.
Other times your escape is a bit grander. You might find yourself needing to acquire a uniform to not be taken out by snipers. Keys that you needed to copy and hope they did not notice otherwise those are quite a shot attempts when opening a locked door. Along with the expected tunneling for freedom. There are quite a few different ways to escape it usually depends on how fast you want to get out.
With six different prisons to escape from not including the tutorial or DLCs that get progressively harder as you progress along. You can get quite involved working out how to pull off the next escape. What you might not have considered doing before is suddenly a new opportunity for you to leverage.
This is one of those games where you can either try and speed run it or just takes your time and enjoys it as things play out over a long time. I did find after a while to get a bit bored of the daily routine when trying to grind out money or working on building up my stats to increase my likelihood of succeeding. Not to mention if you spend a lot of time acquiring an item and your secrete stash in the toilet was nowhere to be seen when you needed it the most. Foiling yet another attempt and you starting over again!
Overall quite a fun game for a couple of the maps I played.
Other Game Reviews
If you loved the first one you might also love the second Escapists. Consider using my Epic Games creator code Games creator code: enjargames at checkout or using this referral link to be sent to the store's page if you do.
Disclosure: As a creator in the Epic Games’ Support-A-Creator Program, I may receive a commission from certain purchases.
Disclosure: the game was received for free.