Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I kinda suck at escape games. I enjoy 'em, don't get me wrong, but the hectic nature of quick-reflexes flight from a series of dangers, getting progressively harder as you go... I usually get creamed in no time. And yes, practice makes perfect, but that's only true if you actually improve.

I guess I improve a little bit. Over time. Not so much on / ESCAPE \, though, which is about as distilled escape-style gaming as you're likely to ever find.


You are a little ninja dude who vaguely resembles a purple Wolverine. You're trapped in a pit, just below a massive chute filled with shocking wall patches and a laser that steadily rises if anything dares to go above it. With nothing better to do, you must guide the ninja dude in leaping from one wall to the other, as far up the chute as you can go, until you die.


That's / ESCAPE \ in a nutshell. Go until you can't go no more. Harsh, but that's life: live until you get zapped by high technology.


/ ESCAPE \'s name betrays its control scheme. You don't choose where the guy goes; you just choose how hard he goes. How? The ESC key, of course. Hitting it makes him jump from one wall to the next. Tap the key gently to rein in his jumping, or mash the sucker to make him fly.

That said, control over your ninja is not as simple as it sounds. Because the area is littered with electrical traps you need to time your jumps to avoid getting zapped - but if you wait too long your ninja will slide down the wall and into the rising laser trap. What a conundrum, albeit a fun one.

My only major concern with the controls stems from the combination jump you can achieve by, essentially double jumping. It makes you go higher and faster, which is good for escaping the laser trap, but it also seems to have unpredictable effects. Why bother with this when most people, especially later on, won't dare use it?


/ ESCAPE \ looks nifty enough. The surroundings are fairly neat, the laser is appropriately apocalyptic, and your guy really plays the part of a ninja with his dramatic jumping and slight after-image. Won't blow your mind, but it does the job.

Could it use more variety? Sure. But, hell, you'd probably die long before you reached said variety.


/ ESCAPE \ boasts a single track that repeats throughout each game, which is generally undesirable. That said it's such a high-octane number that you won't mind, as you need your senses pumping at all times to maximize your reaction time. All in all, not bad.

Challenge Rating

/ ESCAPE \ is pretty goddamned hard, and understandably so - it's not reeeeally a game you're supposed to win. The point, rather, is to play against the scores of OTHER players, and then outdo 'em. In that, / ESCAPE \ is great, as it can be played quickly and easily but damn near anyone...

... though, in the end, the ninja will always die. Depressing.


/ ESCAPE \ ain't bad. It's one of many such similar games, true, but it includes a level of finesse that's not always present in these titles. Worth playing, especially since you can conceivably be doing so for less than a minute and still have a fulfilling experience.

Where you die.

(PS Sorry about the lackluster screenshots. It's bloody hard to get any good ones while playing / ESCAPE \.)


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