Harry Houdini once said, “an old trick well done is far better than a new trick with no effect.” Truth be told, Escape Academy isn't particularly anything out of the ordinary, nor is it exactly loaded with assets that we haven't already seen a dozen times before. But where it lacks in innovations, it most definitely makes up for in “old tricks,” and many that Houdini himself would no doubt commemorate.
Anyway, if the art of escapism is a calling card that you yourself cannot simply shy away from, then you're also likely the same person who slugged through Escape Academy in a single afternoon and couldn't stand the thought of putting it down. And if that does ring a bell, then you'll definitely find some comfort in the following five puzzle-based lookalikes.
5. I Expect You To Die
I Expect You To Die is a VR series that focuses on the art of escapism and high-powered cinematography. Much like a Michael Bay flick with all the bells and whistles to boot, its purpose is to transport its players into highly intense escape-like scenarios that make the puzzles tough, and the consequences of failure some of the most threatening in existence. But pull it off, though, and you'll no doubt waltz away with an ego twice the size as your intellect.
Of course, like any VR game that lets you toy around with the world with no strings attached, I Expect You To Die can very well be seen as a form of comedy. Take it seriously, though, and you'll find that its slew of nail-biting escape scenarios are actually incredibly immersive and thrilling. Therefore, if you have either a PlayStation VR or an Oculus Quest, then you'll definitely want to consider delving deep into the world of VR and picking up this Escape Academy lookalike.
4. Escape Simulator
Escape Simulator is about as close to being a sibling to Escape Academy as anything else on the market, and understandably so. In short, it's a community-led series of escape rooms that grants players access to an enormous collection of premade levels, and an even larger treasure trove of custom-built ones that, quite frankly, fill out an entire archive. To this end, you probably won't ever find the time to complete it, which, in all fairness, probably bodes well with your wallet, anyway.
In Escape Simulator, you take on the role of a volunteer, one whose sole purpose is to test out various escape rooms that differ in both complexity and size. Although not exactly a story-driven game by heart, the puzzle-solving elements are what make it for what it is. And so, if you're after a bottomless nexus of immersive escape rooms, then look no further, as this is hands down one of the best of its kind that you can find.
Trucking through Superliminal is a lot like rolling with a psychedelic dream — it's unbelievably trippy, unpredictable, and downright creepy even at the best of times. But in spite of its all-round kookiness, its gameplay is actually pretty darn memorable, and actually a whole lot of fun so long as you don't mind losing your train of thought ever so slightly as you learn to make heads or tails of its actual plotline and purpose.
So, what is Superliminal actually about? Well, without giving too much away, it's about an unnamed character who, upon their arrival at a company known as Pierce Institute, is given the opportunity to test a technology that assists with dream therapy. As players, you must embark on a hallucinogenic journey that boasts countless puzzles, optical illusions, and otherworldly soundscapes. If you can emerge from the dream with a clearer outlook on life, then you'll know for certain that Superliminal, in spite of its weirdnesses, actually worked wonders on your psyche. And if not, then hey, at least the puzzles kept you busy.
2. The Room
If you're one for toying with all the cranks, levers, gears, and mechanisms in a puzzle game, then you'll definitely get a kick out of The Room, an indie entry that puts players in something of a labyrinth—a Chinese puzzle box of sorts, one that hosts a number of locked doors and mechanical ports. As volunteers within said box, you must learn to manipulate its every nook and cranny if you are to unlock its doors and progress deeper into the game.
The good news is, The Room isn't overly difficult. But learning how to master it, on the other hand, isn't something that's achieved overnight. Nevertheless, if you're all for jumbling puzzle boxes around and engaging in thick trial-and-error gameplay, then you'll definitely find something to latch onto in this simple yet irresistibly charming indie puzzler by Fireproof Games.
Given its age, Portal is surprisingly still just as popular today as it was over a decade ago. It makes sense, though, as its gameplay is still just as accessible and addictive as it was back in 2007. And, not to mention that its timeless humor and art style is still enjoyed by the vast majority of gamers even on consoles that phased out years ago. With all of this in mind, it's understandable that anyone with a solid interest in Escape Academy would want to invest some time in playing one of the best series in puzzle game history.
In Portal, you must accept a series of puzzling requests from a malicious AI known as GLaDOS, a wise-talking yet laughably patronizing drone that purposely attempts to make your goals a thread of individual virtual nightmares. Perservere, though, and you'll come to learn that, with the right tools bolted to your side, you can actually wind up learning a thing or two from the labyrinth within. And if not, then it's a still a journey you should consider taking, if only for the nostalgia.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up any of the above five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.