Puzzle game

Escape Simulator is the perfect puzzle game for secret hunters

There’s something to be said for a good video game secret and the Easter egg hunts they often create, especially those in indie games. Whether it’s mysterious flying stairs in Battlefield V or a multiverse-themed ARG in Frog fractions 2, there’s nothing like hunting down the secrets of video games with friends. There have been entire games built around that appeal, though none have quite captured the fun of a good mystery like Pine Studio’s. Escape Simulator.

Escape Simulator is best described as a way to virtually play through challenging and elaborate escape rooms with friends. While actual escape rooms can be a lot of fun, not everyone can afford to get out and experience them. Escape Simulator is a great alternative that is also great fun for video game detectives. There’s a lot of decoding, puzzle solving, and clue hunting to do, and that’s not even mentioning community content.

RELATED: How Search and Destroy Brilliantly Combines Real-Time Shooting with Sci-Fi Strategy

In Escape Simulator, players are given a series of themed rooms and the task of unlocking the door to the room to escape. There are usually a wide variety of puzzles that players must solve to progress, although they can often complete them in a fairly non-linear order. The game comes with several preset campaigns, each with five to six different rooms to solve. While pre-made rooms don’t offer a ton of replayability, community-created rooms are really where Escape Simulator shines.

Incredibly easy to use room editor lets anyone create their own indoor escape room Escape Simulatorengine. Players can drag various items around their room to build puzzles and even have the freedom to recolor and re-texture objects at will. While it’s currently not possible to import custom models, there are already a wide variety of items included in the game. There are even entire publisher-exclusive item groups, such as items on the theme of alchemy.

The game even has a simple pseudo-script aspect, with various Logic objects that can be linked together. For example, players can place a logical slot item to create a location where a specific item should be placed. They can then set the slot element to trigger another logic element or animation whenever the slot key is in place. Basically, players can create their own custom locks and keys with just a few quick clicks.

RELATED: Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate Turns Chess Into a Bizarre Roguelike

For those who just want to play escape rooms, there are already an abundance of amazing levels uploaded to the game’s Steam Workshop page. Escape Simulator The community has made some truly amazing creations using the game’s editing tools, including a castle-themed escape room based on Darth Vader’s Mustafar. Pine Studios has also supported the level editor community with constant content updates and contests.

Of course, one of the biggest draws of real-life escape rooms is solving them with a group of friends. Escape Simulator features online co-op, allowing anyone who owns the game to play together seamlessly. Some of the larger community-created maps can be a bit buggy in multiplayer, but there are still plenty of multiplayer rooms to solve once players complete the prefabs. There are even levels specifically designed for multiplayer.

While the game’s community levels are absolutely the focus, the pre-made maps do a wonderful job of providing a real secret-hunting experience. Although the game tells players when an item contains a clue or is important, players can disable this in the game settings for a more challenging experience. Even with important items pointed out to the player, there are some really elaborate puzzles in the prefab rooms that are definitely not easy.

RELATED: How Roguelike Loot River Combines Dark Souls and Tetris

For example, there’s a space-themed play that takes place in a sci-fi lab. Players not only have to navigate a drone through a vent to retrieve something from a locked side room, but they also have to decipher a scientific formula on a whiteboard in order to synthesize coolant for the room’s generator. It’s all well presented and done in a way where players really don’t need any basic science knowledge. Everything needed for the puzzle is provided in the room – players just have to search for it.

This is really where the mystery hunt Escape Simulator shines. Each of the game’s pre-made rooms have some really clever ways of hiding information that will often take a few tries to notice. The themes also tend to use similar puzzle methods that players will recognize by doing the themed levels in order, and that certainly helps keep the theories on track. It’s easy to miss vital information, but the information will always be there.

Escape Simulator is an ever-evolving game, with updates adding new rooms, features, editor parts, mechanics, and accessibility support. With a huge variety of puzzles and a ton of replayability thanks to community content, it’s worth more than the current asking price of $14.99 on Steam. It’s a wonderfully charming game that’s sure to appeal to video game sleuths, puzzle lovers, and escape room enthusiasts.