Escape Academy Breaks Out

We take Escape Academy for a preview whirl, where anything and everything is part of the puzzle.

Published: June 22, 2022 11:30 AM /

Previewed By:

escape academy logo

Way back in 2020, just before the plague started, we got my mother tickets to an escape room for her birthday. Of course, then the plague came and the escape room shut down and we weren't allowed a refund, because life is unfair. That's why Coin Crew Games' Escape Academy caught my eye on Steam. A game with escape rooms where you don't have to leave the house and be trapped in a small, unwashed room? I'm down.

Escape Academy starts at an actual escape room, which you solve fairly quickly, and are then challenged to follow your hunches, find the employee and figure out the puzzles in the main lobby and staff room. Doing so unlocks a hidden passage and you meet the headmaster of the titular Escape Academy, who reveals that she has scouted you out and would like you to join the school. Now, obviously, as the title of the school is also the title of the game, you say yes and hop on board the underground train. In terms of setting up the plot, the demo does a great job, introducing you to two major characters and giving you a good handle on the basic premise of the game, without giving away too much information or starting any plot threads and dropping them like hot potatoes before they're resolved.

bill cipher on the floor
As a Gravity Falls fan, I'm immediately suspicious.

The real draw of the game and the central conceit is that everything is an escape room, or ties in to solving one. After finishing a section you are rated and given a grade, as well as given times for solving each of the puzzles and anything that you missed is pointed out to you, which is incredibly helpful. The game also gives you hints as you go along, in case you get stuck, but that will lower your evaluation grade. The mechanism that times each puzzle isn't perfect, but it's interesting to see how everything is measured and structured. The first actual “test” that you're given in the game is to escape the headmaster's room and that one is also timed to just add a little heat to the fire.

While there are only two full rooms to escape in the demo, the puzzles so far are really solid. There's no ridiculous leaps of logic involved in anything, and the two times I had to use a hint I realized that I should have seen that part of the puzzle in the first place. You're not confronted with anything headscratchingly stupid or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, anything that you can tell the designers included because they wanted to show off how clever they think they are. Admittedly, these are introductory puzzles, but the setup and basic logic behind them bodes well for future parts of the game. The puzzles are also not super obvious; you do have to put in the work to find out what you're supposed to do and figure it out, which is nice.

headmaster portrait
I love love love the shading on her hair!

Escape Academy has a very basic, 3D art style. There's not a whole lot of frills or fancy texturing, but somehow it works very well and fits the puzzles and the story. The character portraits that accompany text boxes are all in a great 2D style that's very classically “realistic cartoonish” but with an amazing shading and color palette that makes the portraits look very refined.

While the demo is admittedly rather short, Escape Academy shows a lot of promise ahead of its release in July. For those who have been missing real life escape rooms or craving an interesting puzzle game with a strange setting, Escape Academy might be just the solution you're looking for.

TechRaptor previewed Escape Academy on PC with a copy downloaded by the reviewer. It will be launching for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on July 14, 2022.

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| Former Staff Writer

Courtney Ehrenholfer is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter, and current journalist who greatly enjoys video games, especially those of the point and… More about Courtney

More Info About This Game
Learn More About Escape Academy
Game Page Escape Academy
Coin Crew Games
Release Date
July 14, 2022 (Calendar)