Heading for the Emergency Exit

2D toon graphics and a Superman fixation combine for new quick-thinking puzzler

Heading for the Emergency <i>Exit</i>
| Exit

If you heard a game was going to be made starring an escapologist, you might think it would be all about the challenges of undoing handcuffs while being sealed in a barrel that’s just about to go over the Niagara Falls. Or, maybe, a master criminal who breaks into art galleries to steal priceless paintings.

But no. In Exit, Japanese company Taito takes a very different angle. Instead, you get to take the role of Mr ESC, who instead of playing the role of a showman (or computer keyboard key), is much more socially aware and uses his athletic powers of escape - sliding down ropes, climbing ladders, leaping from tall buildings - to save people trapped in hazardous situations. So whether it’s towering infernos, earthquake-cracked hospitals or crashed subway trains in flooded underground tunnels, Mr ESC is on hand.

But this being a game, there’s always a bit more danger. As well as over 100 different emergency puzzles for you to overcome (and there will be more available to download if you get through those), there’s also the tick, tick, tock of time to race. Exit won’t just be about sitting back and working out the most elegant way to clear the level, time will be of the essence. Another neat trick is that once you’ve rescued people, you’ll be able to use them to help, so groups can be used to move heavy obstacles, for example.

And the whole package is wrapped up in some of the most interesting graphics we’ve seen for a while. Taking a stylised cartoon angle combined with an old skool 2D platformer environment, Exit looks like being one to watch for when it’s released by Ubisoft in February.