School is in Session – Escape Academy

Sometimes it really puts into perspective the games that you would miss if it wasn’t for friends. This week I was going to play either another platformer or just skip the week but a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to play Escape Academy. I obliged and man what a sweet little gem. I had watched a few short streams of it when it was released but I put nothing else into it, then found that it was on Game Pass and so I downloaded it and played it in three sittings.

This week I rack my brain and play Escape Academy.

Escape Academy is an escape room-style puzzle game from Coin Crew Games. It was published by Iam8bit and Skybound Games in July, for all platforms and retails for $20 (free on Game Pass).

You are just a new student. I think that is all the story actually is. I will be honest and say that I literally skipped every single piece of dialogue. The game primarily consists of adolescent humor (farts, puns, poop, etc). I love adolescent humor so I found the puns and jokes funny a majority of the game.

The characters really shouldn’t be teachers. All of the professors are incredibly wacky with their own brand of insane. A hardened escape specialist that poisons you, a gardening teacher that also likes bombs, and even a janitor that loves to fuck with people. The story is not anything special but it is the characters that really make the meat of the game.

That being said, the gameplay is the rest of the meal. Each chapter goes by just like semesters: Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Each with its own goals to tackle. The gameplay is pretty simple: walk around and interact with things. That is all you really do in an escape room. Prior to entering a mission, you are given a difficulty and a time to solve the room. Ratings go from incredibly easy to insanely difficult. Being observant and patient are the most important attributes to have while playing this game. It is easy to fail if you get frustrated that the answer is not as obvious.

Each area is an “escape room” but it also has an importance within the world itself. You are tasked with getting an antidote for poison, but you have to access a bunch of wacky locks and color puzzles to get there. The escape room mechanic really lends itself to the world as a whole.

It is incredible that each level is so vastly different. You can have a room that is so tiny but the next level is five different rooms all with their own themed puzzles.

Escape Academy needs a little time to really soak in the look of the game. I’m not saying it looks bad, but you really have to look past it. Kinda blocky with stiff character movement, no 3D character models during cutscene conversations, and kinda washed-out visuals. It really didn’t bother me because I was there for the puzzles and not the visuals.

The sound design seems good, I really have no issue with it. The characters have really nice voice acting even when they say something incredibly fucking cheesy.

Escape Academy is a gem of a video game. the puzzles will rack your brain and really make you feel like you were clever enough to escape the room. An absolute joy is the co-op feature. I had one friend with me a majority of the way through the game and let me tell you; that made Escape Academy 100% worth it. There is added fun when you and a friend are throwing ideas at each other until something works and then celebration ensues when it works.

I wish everyone could experience Escape Academy because It will be in my top 10 game this year.

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