Escape Academy is a first–person puzzle game in which players will have to solve increasingly complex and unique puzzles as they progress through the Escape Academy of the same name. Anyone who has played games like The Escaper, or Escape Simulator, will be at home here, as each puzzle is solved by exploring rooms, controlled objects and non-standard thinking. Escape Academy is a great choice for those looking for a creative and challenging puzzle game filled with tension and riddles, as well as collaborative and multiplayer support.
Escape Academy begins with the player entering a real quest room and solving some simple puzzles decorated with cheap skeletons and tricks that can be expected. After leaving the room, the poisonous employee is no longer there, and the building is locked and empty — but there are plenty of secrets and clues. This first level is actually the entrance exam to the Escape Academy, which the player character was completely unaware of, but decided to attend it. Upon arrival, players can explore the campus for a bit before heading to the principal’s office for the entrance exam.
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This first puzzle is in a great first challenge and introduces stresses that appear throughout the rest of the game – basically a time limit. The time limit is introduced with a memory-erasing gas that will erase the player’s memory of the academy if he is unable to leave the room in time. Each room consists of several stages, which use a variety of unique and interconnected puzzles that require certain items, combinations of words and numbers, matching symbols and much more. That’s why Escape Academy, like Elden Ring, encourages its players to take notes to keep track of everything — an offer worth considering.
The academy is full of unique characters who have rooms reflecting their personalities, as well as several unique missions, such as being the “guy in the chair” during a prison break. Basing levels on the personalities of the characters controlling them is a really good choice for the game, as it does not make the game feel outdated or repetitive, despite the limitations of reuse mechanics and conflicts. For example, in the two early levels, the player climbs the floors to avoid drowning, while in the other he is poisoned and is looking for an antidote. Each of them depends on the presence of a deadly external danger as a time limit, but they vary greatly in the setting, tone and combinations of puzzles. Given all this, Escape Academy suffers from a specific problem that makes it difficult to play.
This may be less of a problem when playing on a PC, but on consoles like the Xbox Series S, which used the hardware for this review, the camera control is not very good. It feels like there is a delay between the input of the joystick and the game, which leads to a slow and shaking camera. In addition to the general irritation that this can cause when working with fine motor skills, it can quite easily and quickly cause motion sickness, as it was in this review. Again, this may not be a problem on a PC and a monitor with a high refresh rate, but it is a noticeable problem on consoles and TVs. Despite this challenge, Escape Academy has a really solid foundation and some great puzzles that give a huge sense of accomplishment, which makes it a great game for those who want to challenge their brain.