From the moment I fired up “How 2 Escape,” I was thrust into a world of intricate puzzles and a unique cooperative experience. This game, featuring only a single mode – standard escape mode, delivers seven challenging escape rooms that truly put your problem-solving skills to the test. Unfortunately, being thrusted into something this complex often had me scratching my head. The stories themselves are fairly basic, such as you’re stuck on a train and your only lifeline to freedom is a friend armed with a phone. The catch? You can’t play it alone; it’s designed for two players, with one navigating the console while the other wields the companion app. The idea of this seemed clever, but for the life of me I struggled to find a second player to help me with this review for a considerably long time, I guess I don’t know anyone that is into the escape room style challenges.
Right off the bat, it’s essential to highlight that to play “How 2 Escape” you must choose a friend who has the patience and some puzzle solving knowledge, the game can often be obtuse with objectives that often led my friend and I to bicker rather than work as a good team. The player on the phone serves as the eyes and ears outside the console, relaying vital messages and clues based on the information displayed on their screen. One glaring issue is the lack of a comprehensive tutorial for the phone player, leaving them somewhat in the dark about how to assist effectively. I even would have appreciated a bit better of a tutorial for myself as the console player. Granted it’s mostly just pointing and clicking and solving puzzles, but I wish I had a better sense of direction. Supposedly, like most escape rooms, this is just how the game is played, being thrusted into an area and you just need to figure it out.
The game’s standout feature is its challenging puzzles. They’re not for the faint of heart or those seeking a casual escape room experience. Instead, “How 2 Escape” throws you into the deep end right from the start, which was a bit off-putting for myself and I can imagine will be for some other players. The absence of gradual difficulty levels might be also quite frustrating, the first stage in the game felt as difficult as one of the later levels should be, but experienced escape room enthusiasts might relish the hardcore challenge it offers. Visually, “How 2 Escape” is a nice little treat. Its animated design, devoid of straight lines, creates a distinct and immersive atmosphere. The game’s aesthetics do a commendable job of drawing players into its mysterious seven rooms, it just felt very right for this genre.
In my personal opinion, “How 2 Escape” is a game with an intriguing concept that falls short in the execution. While the idea of a cooperative escape room on a console and smartphone is clever, the game’s steep difficulty curve right from the beginning can be unwelcoming. I believe that it may appeal more to seasoned escape room veterans who are well versed and enjoy some thought-provoking puzzles. It’s hard to recommend though for those seeking a more accessible entry into the genre, “How 2 Escape” might not be the best choice. At the end of the day, “How 2 Escape” offers a distinct cooperative escape room experience that relies heavily on effective teamwork and communication (which I didn’t). Its challenging puzzles and unique gameplay are commendable. While it may have its quirks, it’s worth considering if you’re a fan of brain-bending puzzles and are ready to tackle the game’s formidable difficulty.
For more information, visit HERE
Related: Reviews by Nick Navarro