Apparently something’s amiss in the iTunes App Store because the price image you see above says “No reviews” but, as of this writing, Escape has been reviewed 11 times, 12 if you count this one. Just about all of those 11 people agree that it’s a fun game with a lot of playtime built in, and if you like games where you puzzle your way from Point A to Point B they’re totally right.
Escape isn’t just the name of the game, it’s also kind of the name of the genre. I don’t know what the “official” name of this puzzle genre is, but Escape pretty much sums it up. You start in one place and your job is to figure out a way to get to another place, the map’s exit door, so you can advance to the next level. If you’ve ever played Pathways you know exactly what I’m talking about… it’s a puzzle genre that can get pretty addicting, especially if you keep getting your ass kicked on a particularly tough level.
Pathways is fun but it seems to present you with the same kinds of puzzles over and over again. Nuclear Nova decided to mix things up in Escape by building in numerous tools and obstacles that make each puzzle map different. On any given map you’ll find bombs, switches, bomb-shooting contraptions, one-way gates, movable blocks, evil hooded bastards who want to murder you… I only made it through about 20 levels so there may be more surprises, but suffice it to say that Escape doesn’t make your escape artist’s life easy.
With 60 levels and so many puzzle variations, Escape is a lot of fun and very engaging. But, as several of the 11 reviewers in iTunes have already pointed out, the game has two minor faults that make it a little less friendly than it could be: (a) the map components, including your hero, are pretty small because of the size of the maps, and (b) the controls could use some work.
I have no idea what Nuclear Nova can do about the small-ness of the map elements outside of completely redesigning the game, but one thing they could improve right now is how you control your hero. To move left you touch the left side of the screen, moving right means you touch the right side of the screen, and so on and so on for up/down/diagonal maneuvers. A D-pad type controller would be a welcome change! Also welcome would be some type of global scoreboard. Escape keeps a record of how long each level took you to solve, but as always it would be way more fun if bragging rights were up for grabs.
Overall this is a fun game with a lot of really creative (and often frustrating) puzzles. $2.99 sounds about right if you can get past the tiny map elements and get used to the spread-out controls, and if you went completely ga-ga over Pathways you’ll probably become just as infatuated with Escape, if not more so.