Coin Crew Games is a company made up of developers who have a mind for creating arcade games and other attractions. This real-world experience is what drove Wyatt Bushnell and Mike Mohammed Salyh to create a game that’s based on real-world attractions. The developers wanted to bring the fun of escape rooms to everyone while also getting to try out things they could never do in real life.
In Escape Academy, the player is faced with a variety of puzzles that are reminiscent of real escape rooms. There is an abundance of locks and puzzles that would work just as well in the real world and the developers also introduce some things that would be really hard to recreate. It’s a mix of the two that make this game a lot of fun.
The player starts out like anyone else on a boring Friday night, inside their local escape room. However, after solving a few puzzles, it becomes clear that something out of the ordinary is happening. Before long, the player has been initiated as the newest member of the Escape Academy, and they start off on a new academic journey to become the best Escapist that the world has ever seen.
It’s immediately apparent how pretty the art is, especially the cutouts of the characters when you’re talking to them. They each look like they’ve been drawn with care and have distinct personalities that are hinted at in the character’s art. The environments of the world are fairly interesting too, with each new level offering some kind of different theme and mechanic that puts the player against the clock.
These time limits serve as great pressure on the player to complete the objective before whatever ill fate befalls them. The time limit varies from being generous to making the last few minutes of completing the puzzle a stressful experience. In a way, the stress can be fun, especially when the player solves the last mechanic and gets out with moments to spare.
Completing some of the challenges can really make you feel like you’ve accomplished something, providing just enough challenge to keep you from blowing through. The levels vary in difficulty, ranging from basic puzzles to short time limits and much harder mechanics. Luckily, there are hints that the player can go to when they get stuck and the timer keeps counting down.
Some in-game story spoilers will be found below, so skip to the overview at the bottom if you want to avoid them!
The water level in Escape Academy is unique and fun. It’s the first time in the game that the player’s life is actually threatened, so the stakes become that much higher. As the play progresses through each level inside the room, the water rises higher and higher. With short time limits, the player can actually see the danger becoming more present with each passing moment.
When the entire escape room is revealed to be a puzzle itself, the player then has to try and remember each of the previous rooms where they were panicking through the puzzles. This culmination of all the chambers before that is a surprise to the player who thinks they are fortunate to have made it out of the previous rooms with likely few memories of the puzzles.
Another puzzle has the player poisoned by a staff member under the guise of another escape room. The player must complete an escape room where they have to cure themselves. While the player is slowly dying, the other two characters can be heard with little care, instead lamenting the loss of their food. When the player succeeds, they are told that this was necessary to test their skills.
The game’s challenge will likely depend on the player and their observational skills. Those who are familiar with these types of puzzles and games will likely have an easy time making it through most of the game without the use of hints. However, the option to use those hints is always on the table and they provide worthwhile information that’s basically a step away from the correct answer.
Playing with friends makes the game feel more like a real-life escape room. Players can play with someone in the same room or across the internet as they try to solve these puzzles together. This is a fun twist that helps the game fulfill the developer’s wishes of bringing players together. It usually makes the puzzle easier too, with two brains working together to beat the levels.
This humor is present in the game but doesn’t try too hard to make you laugh. The characters are funny just by being themselves and interacting with each other. Their cute design paired with their personality make the levels where you get to know them more fun. There’s a story to be told in Escape Academy through the characters that call it home.
This isn’t all the content that Coin Crew Games is hoping to bring to Escape Academy, as shown by its roadmap for the game. In the future, the developer is hoping to add the Escape from Anti-Escape Island DLC, a free major update, and the Escape from the Past DLC.
Each of the paid DLCs will feature five new escape rooms, all available via the Season Pass. This is pretty standard practice, but the price of the season pass is only five dollars short of the whole game.
It should be said that it feels as if Escape Academy is missing a certain depth that would make it more appealing. The world of training Escapists is fairly interesting, however, there’s not much to explore outside of the escape rooms themselves. While the game doesn’t try to sell you on anything more, it would have still been nice to be able to see this world and characters fleshed out even further.
The Final Word
Escape Academy is an exciting puzzle game that invites the player to experience around a dozen unique escape rooms. While the world doesn’t evolve into much beyond that, it’s still a lot of fun to progress through the different challenges. Add in that players can experience these puzzles with friends and Escape Academy becomes a proper re-creation of real-life escape rooms.
Try Hard Guides was provided with a Steam PC review copy of this game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!