Awooga! Awooga! The Escapists has finally emerged for Windows and XBox One users in a full release version of this beloved and quirky prison break simulation role-playing game. Mouldy Toof and Team 17 Digital bring on the cheeky pixelated 8-bit goodness as you go through the motions of being a model inmate while slyly hatching your plans to make it home free. It's a unique and eerily unsettling feeling if you're one of the teeming multitudes who've played Minecraft and built massive structures of stone to now find yourself having to stealthily escape from them, but there's plenty of wry humor and action in this crisp and colorful just-one-more-day release to make it an insatiable compulsion.
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A combination of [WASD] for movement, numbered inventory items and a mouse for menus will get you through the day. Sticking to established schedules and routines will decrease the guards' suspicions of you, but they sure won't get you any closer to escape! If you do something that's blatantly taboo, your Heat percentage will skyrocket and the first guard to spot you will tag you with rubber bullets. You'll wake in the Infirmary minus any contraband items in your inventory and with a small chunk of your cash missing. (When did they implement mandatory gratuities for prison guards?) Manual tasks increase your fatigue percent, while eating, showering and sleeping will decrease them. Other prisoners will occasionally have items for sale, while some will offer you cash for doing favors for them which involve everything from getting them a specific item to creating a distraction for the guards to outright laying someone out. Occasionally, fights will break out between the other inmates or inmates will be checked by the guards. Prisoners who've been laid out and dazed can be searched when the guards aren't looking and will often have interesting items in their inventory, including rare contraband items. They also don't seem to mind at all if you swipe their clothes, and when they recover these NPCs seem content to just roam the facility grounds in only their pixelated tighty-whities. Good times!
Searching other inmates' desks also often reveals interesting items, if you're not too picky about grabbing personal property. (What are they going to do, throw you in jail for it?) Those desks in other cells can also be useful for stashing contraband, if a search of your bunk is announced at rollcall — or if theirs is! You'll occasionally find Crafting Notes, which conveniently show you how to combine simple, ordinary items to make weapons, armor, escape tools or even phoney guards' outfits. It's not clear who writes them, or whether they're still inmates. Anywhere you are in the complex, The Escapists is great for randomly-generated flavor text from the passing inmates and guards. Though it doesn't usually affect the story or gameplay, the comments, rumours and in-prison gossip are a joy to read. Prison jobs aren't just a great way to pass the time, they can also yield some intriguing escape options as well. Janitorial cleanup, laundering inmate and guard uniforms, food prep jobs, staffing the mail room and smithing license plates out of sheets of otherwise contraband metal all afford some intriguing escape possibilities. If you have an in-house job, one of your otherwise free periods will be assigned to it and you'll have a work quota to fill if you'd like to keep your job! If you don't make quota, you'll be removed and the job will be reassigned to someone else. Each position requires a minimum amount of a character skill, meaning you may need to work out or research online to up your stats to meet the basic requirements. Once you do, another inmate may fill that position — but with a little ingenuity and skullduggery that needn't be a permanent arrangement! The Escapists also has a comprehensive Wiki, a very active forum and features a rockin' soundtrack in .OGG format that's easily transferred to the music player of your choice for listening throughout your day.
What do you mean, released on Xbox One a year ago? It came out on the 13th of this month, same day as the PC release.
Right you are, Lorley! I've revised the review to correct the information. Thanks for the fact check! Well-spotted!