Ha, oh, Leeroy, whatever put that idea in your head? This is what happens in prison. You look at people the wrong way, or even the right way, and it’s going to end up in a fight. Officer Rich will do his best to calm down the situation by offering a baton to the punches, but it just fuels a riot, which is ample time to try to escape. An excellent plan.
The Escapists is the next game from Chris Davis, who brought us Spud’s Quest not that long ago. He’s trying something quite different than his project of the last few years as The Escapists is all about breaking out of prison, rather than adventuring across a retro game-inspired fantasy world. Prison escape games are rare, and the ones that do exist are clumsily done, so Chris’s goal is to make one that explores the concept fully and provides the kind of deep experience it deserves.
The concept of The Escapists inherently presents a lot of interesting scenarios that the player can explore. With your mission being to escape via any means you find necessary, your first challenge will be to stick to the prison’s tight schedule in order to not raise suspicion. Guards are probably the least of your worries, though. Your fellow inmates have plenty of systems in place through gangs loyalties and reputation. You’ll want to find a group you can hang around with and get any help you may need, both in escaping and the fights that will inevitably break out.
Everything you do in The Escapists should be done with your eventual attempted escape in mind. Even working out in the gym is essential to give yourself a better chance, as is visiting the library to boost your intellect and hatch a better idea and being friendly with your gang to acquire the resources you need. Ultimately, you’re going to have to spend time digging a hole out of your cell and to eventually emerge on the other side of the prison walls. This hole holds your fate, so protecting its secrecy is of the utmost importance.
“Surely, a game that encapsulates the tension and thrills of meticulously planning and executing a perfect prison escape would be fun, no?”
If another gang member finds your hole, you’ll have to overpower them and bind them so they don’t spread the word. The same goes for any officers. But doing this protective measure is going to cause disruption, either between rival gangs and your own or the inmates and the prison guards. I’m loving the amount dynamism the different aspects of prison life offers and how you can work it to your favor, or die trying. There’s plenty of potential to expand as well, and Chris will be looking for ideas from those interested in the game that may help make it even better.
The Escapists is currently up on Kickstarter looking for just £3,000, which will be used to cover the expenses of developing the game to completion. Spud’s Quest was also funded through Kickstarter, so Chris has already shown that he can deliver. The perks are kept light, with £5 getting you a copy of The Escapists, with a pledge higher than that adding the soundtrack, artbook and early builds. The Escapists is also on Greenlight, awaiting your approval.