By Valeisha Jackson
Ever since I was a kid, escape rooms have always been my favorite activity to participate in with my family. When it was brought to my attention that there is a game with escape rooms, that caught my attention immediately. In real life, escape rooms don’t usually have a deep fictional story line. I found the varied narrative added spice to Escape Academy from Coin Crew Games.
In other words, this game isn’t all about escape rooms. Early on, you’re invited to join the game’s school – the academy. In return, the player receives badges if they pass their exams and. Passing exams are based on how well you did in the room and how long it took to finish various tasks in there. In reality, escape rooms always make me think critically and I love how Escape Academy makes me do the exact same thing – except with more variety. Escape Academy did a phenomenal job with making different levels go from the easiest early on to the hardest. Every level has a different difficulty that is based on keys throughout the numbers 1 to 5. Key 1 is the easiest and key 5 is the hardest. Even on the easier levels, I still had a few complications regarding what to do, where to go, etc. So, easy is still challenging. However, I had fun identifying what needed to be done to go to the next level.
The gameplay mimics the tension of a solving puzzles in a real room. In a first person perspective, you’re able to discover each escape room in 3D. Depending on which console you’re playing on, whether it’s PlayStation or Xbox, all you really have to do is click buttons on a controller, but if you’re playing on a PC you just click your mouse to be able to touch and access the clues. It’s really pleasing that this game isn’t really confusing or all over the place. The game makers subtly lead you to discover what you need to uncover to put the pieces together to solve the puzzle. Not everything is something you need to inspect to get to the next level or step and the game helps you with that. I really like this ability because compared to the real world escape rooms, I’d get stuck on objects that weren’t necessary. Plus, with this feature, I waste less time and can get my badges more quickly.
Escape Academy lets players go back to a room that they escaped from for a better grade. But it does not let you fully replay that room you escaped from. This is one of my least favorite aspects of the game. I’d love to go back to get a better grade, however I’d also like to replay games from start to finish with a friend or family member for a different experience. Playing on your own is fun but playing co-op with someone else is enjoyable as well. Putting pieces together and exiting an escape room with a partner really makes the game more alive and less intense (two minds are better than one). Playing by yourself can be stressful due to the time limit and knowing you’re the only one doing all of the work.
The design of the gameplay is really flawless. While you are working on escaping a room, you are also trying to survive. If you do not escape a room, the room will be filled with bomb, a flood, or it could even be burnt down. This is another one of my favorite aspects of the game because ut added a sense of awareness, and occasionally panic, to the time limit I had. I’ve played every escape room and met a lot of characters with charisma. The game makers who created Escape Academy really went out of their way to make this game amazing. Sometimes, I didn’t even want escape because I wanted to continue in be immersed in the experience.
Valeisha Jackson is one of four new paid teen interns from the Bronx that NYVGCC has hired this year.