App Army Assembles - Is The Escapists 2 a breakout success?

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| The Escapists 2
App Army Assembles - Is The Escapists 2 a breakout success?

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The Escapists 2 is the sequel to one of the finest prsion-breaking games of all time, now bringing multiplayer to the series for the first time along with a heap of other improvements - and we thought it wasn't half bad.

But what do we know? We're just some fools running a website about mobile games. So we decided to give our community of mobile gaming fanatics, the App Army, their hands on the game as well.

You can read their reviews below, but we know what you really want - your own chance of getting the best and latest games for absolutely naught beyond giving us a review.

Well you can! Just join our App Army over on Facebook (make sure to answer the short questions given to you!) and each week you'll have a shot at playing a big game of that week.

And better yet, you can chat about mobile games with other fans of the platform, make some friends, and get some wonderful, stimulating conversation in your life.

Sound good? Then go join the App Army! And come right back to read the reviews of The Escapists 2!

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Oksana Ryan - iPad Pro

I enjoyed playing this game. I haven’t played the first in the series, but as a standalone it has given me plenty to think about. The tutorial is straightforward and gives you an adequate insight on how to play.

There are ways to improve your chances of escape with objects to pick up to use or combine to aid you in said escape, and other inmates who want to share their own plans with you. As you work towards your goal there are routine things you have to do like eating and roll call, so you have to be aware of everything around you.

I'm definitely going to continue to play this game, and if you like a challenge and time management, then I would recommend you give it a go.

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Jasper Lee

The Escapists 2 is an interesting game, and plays very smoothly. I thought the feature where you are able to customise each inmate to your liking is pretty neat, and the game itself as a whole feels very polished.

By far, though, the coolest feature is the ability to play the game in multiplayer, with your friends taking the role of other inmates in the prison and being able to devise plans to escape together. The only caveat is that you can’t play online with others, who are physically somewhere else, as you can only play online using the same WiFi.

The gameplay is good, but suited more for longer game sessions as little amounts of time doesn’t feel very satisfying as there are not many things you are able to do in short periods. Sometimes, the game feels rather inconsequential as you’re not really sure exactly what would work, and a lot of time could be put into something which doesn’t work, but when it does, it is extremely rewarding.

Overall, I’d recommend this to anyone who likes strategy games and prison games in general, but is not for everyone as some patience is required, and is more suited to longer play sessions.

Naail Zahid

The Escapists 2 is something similar, yet something unique. Right off the bat you will notice this game plays like a cutesy retro version of "A Way Out" at least from a story perspective - you (and possibly your multiplayer inmates, should you choose to play local co op) start planning your escape, some narrative instructions set you up to make your escape, and then you start implementing some tinkering with usually weird objects that no one thought would be used in an escape scenario (soap...?) and then attempt said escape. The story is equal parts hilarious and equal parts taking itself too seriously.

And you'll need a lot of patience, as it's sort of a slow burning game, but it gets more fun as you progress. I'd call it a story-driven-strategy-prison-escape-action-game, if that makes any sense.

Now for my gripes - because it's slow burning, the game requires more than a quick session on the crapper. You're more likely to play this game when you have a good amount of time to spare on a game, but then that defeats the point of most mobile games - would you dedicate 30 mins to a slow paced mobile game?

The other issue I have with the game is how the GUI is all over the place in this game. It's like they tried to cram as much as they could on a limited screen while also giving you as much space to see the action unfold. Also, graphically it isn't the most amazing looking retro-styled game, but it is easy to tell what everything is.

All in all, I'd say if you really like the concept, you will probably enjoy it. But fans of more fast-paced titles, stay clear.

Ed Davis - iPhone XR

I somewhat got into the original game but never spent hours with it. There seems to be no other game like it - an interesting sandbox game where you have to do what it takes to break out of prison.

The tutorial does a good job in laying out the game for you, but you very quickly get the impression that there are many solutions to each prison you find yourself in. The gameplay is fast-paced and requires some forethought into how you are going to go about your escape.

I opted for the click-and-move controls as these seemed the better option for a mobile game. They work well overall but the finer details can be a bit fiddly.

This isn’t a game for someone who is looking for a casual game. Games take a while to complete, so require a little time set aside to properly get into it. But it's a game I would recommend for the sandbox, prison escape enthusiast.

Dailon Huskey

I spent a lot of time on the first one both on console and mobile. I love that this version, like the last, has plenty of control options, so it feels like controls can be matched to how you like it - in my case, virtual joystick.

It’s worth the premium price tag. This one seems to be a lot like the first with a different menu style and some upgrades to graphics etc. if you liked the first one you won’t be disappointed with this version, but if you never played the first one, you can pick this one up and you don’t miss anything really.

Overall it’s a great addition to the App Store and we need more good premium games!

Mark Abukoff - iPhone XS

I've never played one of these so I can’t really compare it to others, but it strikes me as a unique experience. I opted for the virtual joystick controller which seemed to work pretty well.

The game looks well and has decent music throughout. And while I didn’t spend a lot of time playing (blame work and the flu) I’m intrigued to see what further levels and multiplayer bring to it. This is a simple game that does what it does quite well, and I can recommend it.

D.T. Stroschein

The Escapist 2 is a sandbox prison escape game that really expands on its initial release for those that have played the original. You'll start out with a few controller options which should be a staple in any game - I chose the virtual joystick as it felt the most comfortable. The Escapist 2 plays very fluid on the Note 9.

It starts you out with a great initial experience where the devs blend a near-perfect tutorial where the initial story and setup of understanding the game controls and how-to goes hand in hand. One thing I'd add is a bit more explanation of your stamina system as you require rest, a meal, or an item of some sort that will merit you additional energy to proceed with additional physical work as it is required for your energy gauge to stay topped off as in other sandbox games.

With that said, The Escapist 2 is a solid experience that's expanded from the first game. You'll not only get a handful of controller options that further be tweaked, but you get to create 10 character slots, four level difficulties ranging from easy to hard, and even local multiplayer where you're pit against players to see who can escape first.

The game itself is well thought out with various ways to navigate prisons and methods to escape. You'll have to first and foremost understand your environment, which I feel the devs did a solid job in implementing ways of proceeding without frustrating gamers from casual to hardcore. Understanding patterns from officers, times for meals, rec times, sleep, etc. I love how well thought out item creation is. Finding and combining items along the way feel like second nature and really make a difference in how you'll ultimately decide to escape.

Personal records and leaderboards give you something to constantly strive for as you start to understand more expanded and maximum prisons along your journey, and I emphasize on you being put in the driver's seat as a prisoner trying to escape, you really have think out every little move as you progress. There is a lot of overall diversity and content compared to the first and in general and overall the experience is refreshing. You do not need to play the first to get this game.

I will say that this is a solid premium game that is well worth the price of admission. This is not for the pick-up-and-play gamer. I'd say you'll need to dedicate about a half hour plus per session, which may turn off the more casual gamer. For the puzzler, sandbox, adventurer, and RPG gamer, etc… this is a solid addition to your library.

You get a very lighthearted, yet in-depth prison escape experience that holds solid replay value. I'm personally grateful as I see The Escapists 2 holding a nice spot in my library for some time.

Quincy Jones - iPhone 8 Plus

Escapists has always been the “one that got away” for me. On Steam I owned the first game and even the Walking Dead version, but was never able to find the time to play them. Finally it came to iOS and I was thinking that I would at least be able to break out of the joint, but alas it never came to be.

Thanks to the App Army I’ve finally sunk my teeth into part two and I’m glad I did.

First off, graphically it’s much improved over the original, and that also goes for the controls and the actual gameplay which has added multiplayer among other things - though you're restricted to people sharing the same WiFi.

You can definitely play this one without ever playing the first and not miss a beat. It has funny situations and the music doesn’t make me mute my headphones which is always a relief.

There a few things that could be improved, like being able to read the descriptions of item in the inventory without your finger getting in the way, but overall it’s a fun game that will require some time to really get the experience.

Funem - Samsung Galaxy S9+

The Escapists 2 is an obvious premise where you have been thrown in jail and need to escape. The game is simple in its look, but this hides a complex game of time and resource management.

In taking control of your character, you have to make sure you abide by the routines of the prison, like attending roll-call, mealtimes etc whilst gathering resources and knowledge required to effect an escape.

The opening tutorial skims over the basics and makes the game feel quite simple, but when you start the game properly it can be overwhelming as to what can be and needs to be done in the game. To make an escape you will need to explore the prison game-play area, which is relatively huge given the speed your character moves, determine where everything is in relation to each other, follow instructions on how to learn new techniques, use or craft items by combining items you can acquire, all whilst keeping your eye on the clock and ensure you take part in the routines of the prison so as not to arouse suspicion.

This game requires you to spend time with it - a lot of time. You can play it casually by dipping in here and there, but there is just so much to do and remember that I wouldn’t recommend it unless you were into time and resource management type games - but if that is your type of game it will be a rewarding experience.

The only real niggles I have with the game is that I found it hard at first to work out where I was supposed to be going, even though there were on screen indicators and a map and it's quite easy to end up in a dead-end and have to find a route across the map to where you need to be as part of one of the routines, only to end up late for it and create suspicion that you are up to something.

I would also suggest you play this on a large screen as the text can be quite small and although playable on a phone, I wouldn’t recommend it. I don’t think I can do the game justice in a review because of the time I have spent with it, as I feel I can be playing the for weeks and you will still find new things to do and ways to do it, which is a good thing as its further demonstrates the flexibility and complex nature of the game and its replayability.

It’s an easy recommendation if it’s your genre of game and you have the time it needs to play it, and when I get more time on my hands I will definitely be revisiting it.

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Ric Cowley
Ric Cowley
Ric was somehow the Editor of Pocket Gamer, having started out as an intern in 2015. He hopes to take over the world the same way.