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Escape Academy

Escape Academy is looking to be a puzzler's heaven

We've been able to check out Coin Crew Games upcoming escape room video game, ahead of its late June launch date.

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If there's one subsection of the entertainment industry that probably took the biggest hit over the past couple of pandemic-filled years, it has to be the escape room business. Lockdowns and social distancing, and the many, many health and safety procedures that have been enforced over the years must've made it all the more challenging to host an engaging and unique physical escape room experience, which is a shame considering how much fun they can be. Fortunately, everything is getting back to normal, but Coin Crew Games has decided to double-down on a virtual alternative with its puzzling escape room video game, Escape Academy.

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This title is pretty much what it says on the tin, as it sees you falling into a bizarre and mystical world wherein you are training to become an ultimate escapist at a fictional academy. Doing so requires you to tackle a whole bunch of challenges akin to that of a regular escape room, be it solving code-based puzzles, hacking servers, finding hidden secrets, and all of this is the case as Escape Academy has been created by a group of experts that previously have been known for the real life escape rooms they have designed.

To this end, Escape Academy is a game that has all the typical tropes of escape rooms, and will ask you to solve problems that are recognisable and similar. Whether that's using a black light to find a code to a lock painted in invisible ink, or cracking a cipher of mumbo jumbo letters and symbols, the puzzles are handled in such a way that they are approachable to anyone with a semblance of understanding when it comes to puzzle encounters. But where the game sets itself apart from reality is in its ability to throw logic and safety out of the window, and to put you as the player in all manners of positions that are quite frankly deadly and a little terrifying.

For example, I was shown a look at a level where the player is tasked with advancing up five floors, each packed with puzzles. The idea is to solve the necessary problems to unlock the door that protects the ladder to the next floor, and while this might seem pretty basic, the whole escape room was being slowly filled with water. Essentially, it's a level where you as the player are racing to solve the problems to avoid drowning, something that is far beyond what would be possible in reality, and something that in-game is about as hectic and distressing as it seems. It's not a massively overwhelming task, might I add, as there seems to be plenty of time to go through the process of surveying the room, acquiring clues, and then piecing together the puzzle, but seeing water pooling around your feet and legs is more than enough to get the blood pumping.

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Escape Academy
Escape AcademyEscape AcademyEscape Academy

As Escape Academy aims to serve up as similar an experience to a real escape room as possible, you'll be glad to know that aside from having a guide that dishes out a few clues and hints when necessary, it's up to you to solve the problems, meaning it's wise to have a notebook or some way to jot down clues to ensure a seamless solving process.

But other than having to take a bit of initiative to ease the process, Escape Academy does seem to have been created to be quite the simple and approachable game. The gameplay is pretty basic and straightforward, and mostly revolves around moving/looking around, and then of course also interacting with the levels and the puzzles within them. To this extent, Escape Academy seems to be offering up an experience that is more mentally challenging than it is physically, and in my mind, that's a win for a game of this design, especially when considering its multiplayer systems.

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Escape Academy will support two-player cooperative play, both locally or online, meaning you can, if you like, buddy up to tackle the puzzles. In multiplayer, the puzzles don't change however, and the difficulty doesn't increase, it's still very much the exact same levels, but available for a team of two to ponder over. With this being the case, don't expect replayability to be at the forefront of Escape Academy, because once you've solved a puzzle once, you will know how to do it again. But that doesn't detract from the fact that Coin Crew Games has created a video game that is intending to take a fair few hours to beat in the first place, meaning you should find more than an ample amount of challenges to tackle on that first playthrough.

Escape AcademyEscape Academy
Escape AcademyEscape Academy

From what I've seen of Escape Academy, it has left me excited to see what the rest of the game and the story will offer up. Thankfully, it won't be too long before we get to check that out for ourselves, as Escape Academy will be launching on PC, Xbox and PlayStation consoles on June 28, and will even be available on Game Pass on the day one.

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