Let me start things off by mentioning that I’ve never been to an escape room, and it seems I’ve been missing out on some fun time.
I’ve discovered that you get enormous satisfaction after completing a challenging and well-made puzzle.
Escape Academy, which is basically an escape room simulator, provides all that, making it an entertaining game.
To be fair, I didn’t have many expectations for Escape Academy because the video game developed by Coin Crew Games didn’t seem like my cup of tea, although it’s a free title you can play on Game Pass.
It shows that you don’t know if you like or dislike something until you actually try it yourself.
The game’s story is short, somewhere between 4 to 6 hours, but it will always make you curious to see what’s coming next.
The game starts with you as someone who wants to enjoy an escape room in his free time. Therefore, you go to an establishment of such sort.
However, after completing the escape room, which also counts as a tutorial, you’ll find that you are not in a usual establishment. And you have the opportunity to join the Escape Academy, an educational institution dedicated to the study of escape.
Clearly, you can’t pass down this opportunity, so you’ll go with the headmaster to your new home, the Escape Academy campus, where your adventure begins.
On campus, you’ll have to complete 12 challenging levels or escape rooms (however you like to call them) and see the story unravel, which might surprise you.
At the end of each level, you’ll get a grade based on your performance.
The escape rooms become more demanding as you progress in the game, and the time limits required to get a good grade may not be enough.
In fact, the short time limits are something I didn’t like about the game because I found it impossible to beat them. And believe me, most people will have the same issue. So I guess only the best of the best will get a good grade in their first Escape Academy playthrough.
You have a hint system that is supposed to help you out when you get stuck, but your grade gets lower if you use it. Furthermore, the hints you receive are pretty bad sometimes and may end up confusing you even more.
So let me just tell you this game is not for everybody because some of the puzzles are extremely hard, and you’ll struggle without outside help. Also, you can’t change the difficulty.
The difficulty ratings for each level given by the game are not that good, in my opinion.
For example, I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out a puzzle in The Breakout (covered in this guide), and the level is rated only 3/5 for difficulty; later, you’ll have to solve escape rooms rated 4/5 and 5/5 that have easier puzzles. But it’s important to mention that it felt so good when the solution finally came to me.
I haven’t had any problems with the gameplay, no bugs or anything, and how you control your character was good enough for me, considering you don’t have to move much. However, the game is played from a first-person point of view, and I would have preferred third-person, but that is just my opinion.
I played the game on PC with an Xbox controller, by the way. The game is also available for Playstation and Xbox.
The cartoonish graphics are not that great, but I didn’t mind it that much. I’m here for the puzzles!
I would have preferred more voice lines, though, not just text. You barely hear an NPC talk. As for the sounds in general, I found everything decent. Good enough for a puzzle game.
Of course, replayability is not what people usually look for in this game because there is no mystery in solving the same puzzle twice.
However, you might be interested in a second playthrough if you want a good grade for each escape room.
Overall, Escape Academy might be the game for you if you are a fan of escape rooms and puzzles in general (now I know I am). With the reminder that you shouldn’t put too much value on graphics or the fact that the game is relatively short.