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You Must Escape

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Rating: 4.3/5 (102 votes)
Comments (13) | Views (12,825)

You Must Escape

DoraRac7's Ludum Dare entry You Must Escape was for the "minimalist" theme, but it could also have been under the "how to shred someone's nerves with near-complete silence and a bunch of lines" theme. Which they would have one, being as this maze-like avoidance game is one of a kind. Trapped inside a pitch-black maze, all you can do is use sound to figure out where you are and make your way to the exit through echolocation. As you move with either [WASD] or the [arrow] keys, sound represented as thin white lines radiates out from you, bouncing off walls and doorways, and you'll need to use this to find the exit, which "sounds" different in that when bouncing off of it, the white lines will become slightly thicker and move faster within it. Simple, right? You can even use the [spacebar] to create a burst of sound that radiates out from you, holding it longer to make it louder and travel further. Just watch out for traps that display in red. And for whatever hungry, searching thing is sharing the darkness with you... listening...

You Must EscapeSee, after a rather uneventful few stages of learning the ropes, you're told that you're not alone, and suddenly making a lot of noise to figure out where everything is isn't the best idea. The "beast", when alerted to where you are, will head straight for the location of the sound, emitting growls that paint the area surrounding it red. You can hold [shift] to move silently and escape detection, but, well, then you have no idea where you're going and where the exit is... or where the beast is. As a result, You Must Escape creates a very literal game of cat and mouse rich in tension though simple yet effective sound and the simplest visuals possible. Though movement is both slow and clunky enough that you might imagine you were actually steering a passive-aggressive Clydesdale stallion, like FPS-Man, You Must Escape shows that in the right (wrong?) hands manipulation of sound and perspective is all you need to make something genuinely frightening. Of course, whether this concept is enough to make someone want to push through to the end through gameplay that feels by design achingly slow at times is another matter entirely, but there's no denying this is definitely a great concept and an even greater use of the Ludum Dare competition's "minimalism" theme. ... even if that means I can't make very interesting screenshots out of it for you. Uh. Sorry.

Play You Must Escape


I really like this. It's the kind of game you want to see come out of a competition themed "Minimalist". Nice and simple, but full of atmosphere. It's reminds me of Papa Sangre, the audio only IOS game, which was overflowing with a terrifying atmosphere. (If you haven't played it, get it!)
Definitely want to see more games like this.

jamesdenem May 29, 2013 1:51 PM

I think what would be interesting to see after completing a level is the complete "sound map".

You kind of get a little bit of that when you make it to the exit, but I personally would like to see what the whole level looks like after completing it.

On another note, you could probably make a very interesting companion game playing as one of the "beasts", though I'm not sure how hard that might be to implement. It could even become somewhat of a multiplayer experience, with one person trying to make it to the exit, and the other trying to catch them.

Ruesiken May 29, 2013 3:14 PM

I too really enjoyed this, it reminded me of the film, "The Descent." (which I liked) :P

It's somewhat rare to come across sensory deprivative games that work well with a user interface. My favorite touch would have to be when the player dies, their blood curdling screech would echo through the corridors.

My only advice for this would be to use different texture sounds for the floor. We as imaginative creatures, may only see the same corridors for each level, but if the level's surface sound changed every few levels, we would be able to find ourselves more immersed. Utilize sounds like: grass, gravel, sand, snow, ect. I feel the more variety of sounds we have to go off of, the more engaging it will be.

Ruesiken May 29, 2013 3:26 PM

In addendum to my previous post,

Think of how using a variety of sounds can also tell a story. If you have the first few level sounds as rock, then gravel, leading to grass, we would be able to piece together someone lost in a cave making their way to the surface and through a field or forest. The breaking of branches could also be a sound effect which trigger enemies.

This is something that could be greatly expanded upon! I guess it's safe to say I'd love to see more of this since I've made two back to back posts. XD


That was *very* well done.


Absolutely excellent.

A truly exceptional example of how great the Ludum Dare competition and the Ludum Dare community that engages in it are.

Congrats Rac7

SrPilha May 30, 2013 7:42 AM

very great idea indeed, and masterfully done. Adding to my faves right now!

chipmunk May 30, 2013 1:47 PM

Should that be "Which they would have won"?

crazycolorz5 May 30, 2013 9:19 PM

I am... scared... out of my mind.


I really, really like the idea, and from the description and comments, I expected to like the game. But I didn't, at least not as much as I expected. The first few levels just seem like randomly bouncing off walls and making louder and louder noises till the exit is located -- no strategy or cleverness required, just brute force. Once the beasts come in, it gets too difficult. I found it frustrating that moving silently was so slow; I think gameplay would have been better if it had been slightly faster. And if you don't move silently, the beast is often right on top of you.

soulsteamer June 1, 2013 12:51 AM


tapping lightly on the space while silent

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlDu_4CvtDUjLajy5f-Hmi7pAJdGJHBpl0 June 3, 2013 12:41 AM

My only comment is on the JIG write up. The write up says 'all you can do is use sound' to escape a pitch black maze. That isn't true because the sound echoes shows up as LIGHT rays. So it is a game of looking at the light and not a game of listening to the sound. I thought this was going to be a game requiring listening, but it isn't.


Considering that the writeup goes on to describe how the sound is actually implemented as a visual, and that without actually using the sound of your footsteps and such you would have no visual, I feel my statement was accurate. :)


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