Whilst Escape Simulator released back in the October of 2021, I’ve only recently had the chance to play through its selection of cleverly designed puzzle-filled rooms. And you know what? I absolutely love it. I’ve been a fan of real-life escape rooms for a long time, so I don’t know why it took me so long to try it out. I’m glad I did though, because it has been a real treat to play through with friends over the festive season.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Escape Simulator is a first-person puzzler that sees players working through a selection of different themed escape rooms. This means scavenging your surroundings for clues or items you can use, utilising them in the right place, and then seeing what your actions unveil, with the ultimate goal being to open the door to escape the room. There’s a timer on display that gives you a goal to work towards, but you can take as long as you need… this isn’t The Crystal Maze, so you won’t find yourself locked away if you don’t escape in time.

The concept itself is something a lot of folk might be familiar with, whether that’s from partaking in a real-life escape room or the dozens of titles that have released that have tried to replicate the experience. It’s the vibe and execution that Escape Simulator manages to nail though, with the aesthetic of each room as well as the puzzle design wonderfully crafted to offer an authentic and enthralling enigma for players to unravel. Whether you’re looking for clues in Egypt, scavenging for items in a Space Station, or partaking in a Victorian-themed mystery, it’s hard not to find yourself completely absorbed into the experience.

The variety and depth of the puzzles is equally impressive, with each room offering something fresh for players to try and figure out. Sometimes, it’ll be a case of using items in the right place, sometimes, you’ll have to read through a nearby book to find the answer to a puzzle, whilst sometimes, you’ll have to carefully examine your surroundings to find a hidden clue; there’s a good balance of observational, logical, and physical puzzling in place to ensure players are kept thoroughly entertained as they make their escape. No room feels overwhelming in design either, with each offering the perfect size to give players plenty to scavenge through without tiring of looking around.

“It’s the vibe and execution that Escape Simulator manages to nail though, with the aesthetic of each room as well as the puzzle design wonderfully crafted to offer an authentic and enthralling enigma for players to unravel.”

There are other accessibility features in place that ensure the game never feels hindersome too, such as items of importance having a marker on display, a tip system in each room that gives you a helping hand when stuck, and even a bin in which you can ditch items that have no significance so you can keep them out of your way. Whilst rooms are never big in scale, they often have plenty of items to examine and carry – these option ensure that you’re never left peddling junk and can simply focus on the objects that are important to your progression.

It all comes together to make for a wonderful experience, with each room bringing a smile to my face as I figured out each cleverly crafted puzzle to progress through them. There are even little bonus collectible tokens to find if you really fancy exploring every nook and cranny of a room, giving the game a bit of extra replayability if you want a second run through (though you DEFINITELY won’t get the same satisfaction solving the puzzles the second time around). The best part of all? It can be played through with an additional two players in online co-op, with players getting to work together to figure out each puzzle. It’s one of the best co-op experiences I’ve played for a long time.

It’s also packed with content, with twenty main levels to play through based around four different themes, a few bonus levels based around the likes of Santa’s Workshop and a Graveyard, and two paid DLC packs (Steampunk and the Wild West). I’ve actually played through the Wild West DLC and loved it, with the western theme really lending itself well to the puzzling action. Whether busting out of a jail cell, hitting a bank for a heist, or making your escape on rail, each of the freshly introduced rooms offer some wonderful puzzling that maintains the high quality seen across the rest of the game.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Players are also able to create and share their own rooms, meaning you’ll essentially never run out of things to do in the game. Whilst I’ll admit that I haven’t spent much time with the level creator yet, I have played through plenty of community levels and some are VERY impressive. Of course, there are some complete duds too, but if you check out the ratings of the rooms beforehand, you’re sure to find some top quality experiences that offer some genuinely creative ideas that rival those found in the main game.

There’s just a whole lot to love about Escape Simulator and it has quickly stood out as one of my favourite puzzlers to play on PC. It runs really well on the Steam Deck too, with the puzzling action ideal to play on the go or when chilling out in bed late at night, whilst the cutesy visual style looks clean and fits the vibe of the experience perfectly. It is worth noting that there were some minor issues though, with the physics in levels often acting a little weirdly and some items randomly disappearing (I even had to restart one room because of it but this was a one off occurrence), but they were never so problematic that they ruined the experience at all. It could be argued that some rooms were better designed for multiple players than others too, though that’s more of a personal issue than anything.

Escape Simulator Review

Escape Simulator is a wonderful puzzler that perfectly recreates the satisfaction of solving an escape room with friends. The puzzle design is clever and varied, the rooms look fantastic and utilise multiple themes, whilst the player-created content means you’ll never run out of things to do in the game. The accessibility options mean its ideal for players of all ages too, so anyone could enjoy it (even IF some of the puzzles are tougher to solve than others)

It’s just a ton of fun to play both solo or with friends, with Escape Simulator quickly establishing its place as one of my favourite puzzlers on PC. If you’re a fan of solving clever conundrums and want something to really test your brain, you won’t want to miss out on it.

Developer: Pine Studio
Publisher: Pine Studio
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed)
Website: https://escapesimulator.com/