Escape Academy Review (Xbox Series X)

Wait, did I almost die in there?

Released: July 13, 2022
Available on: Xbox/Steam/Consoles
Genre: Puzzle Escape Room
Developer: Coin Crew Games
Publisher: iam8bit, Skybound Games

The one thing I wished I could experience at least once is being in an escape room. It sounds like it would be fun, especially with friends, trying to solve a bunch of puzzles in person rather than through a game. Though, I would hope I wouldn’t embarrass myself. For now, playing a game that focuses on you going through a lot of escape rooms is close enough.

Escape Academy starts pretty normally as you walk into a low budget-looking escape room location called Escape Shack. It does seem like our lovely protagonist walked in to waste a bit of time as the employee here didn’t expect your arrival. Luckily, you are able to still do the escape room which, to be honest, doesn’t quite live up to the “best escape room in all the land” claim. It does serve as a good tutorial escape room though, which matters a bit more. After you figure out and solve this escape room’s set of easy puzzles and unlock the gate, you come out to see…nobody. That employee that was just here is mysteriously gone. Being too curious for your own good, you notice that the lobby looks like another escape room. Not to mention that there are some strange notes. This basically serves as “Tutorial Part 2” where it introduces you to the big rooms future escape room levels will feature and mixes environmental and logic puzzles. Once you complete the various puzzles here and find the bathroom key, you learn that the Escape Shack is a front to find promising puzzle solvers for their academy. The Escape Academy.

The Headmaster herself extends an invitation for you to attend and of course you say yes. You’ll be a fool not to. Granted, you do have to do another test before you’re officially enrolled where the risk of memory loss hung over your head, but hey it was worth it. As you progress through the game, you’ll be able to meet the various teachers here as well as another student which more or less turns into your rival. There is also a story here which, while doesn’t pop up as often, managed to surprise me and give me a “well I should have expected this” when looking at past events. I do wish we got more in this aspect, or at least more time with the characters, as the bits of characterization we did get from everyone was good and made me interested in learning about them more.

Escape Academy is separated into three chapters, or three terms to bring in the school theme, with four escape room levels you can do in each. At the start of a term, you will get at least half of the available escape rooms show up on your map where you can pick which one you get to do first. You’ll be able to see the difficulty and how much time you’ll have to complete it before you accept, so if you want to do the easiest one first (or last) you can. Once you pick and start up the escape room, you’ll get a snippet of interaction with the teacher and the timer will start.

While the way you’ll go about solving escape rooms will stay the same, they all have their own theming and size. Finding yourself going to the computer lab, an average sized room with an attached breakroom, to the big greenhouse, and even other big spaces that have multiple rooms in itself for you to solve. Anyway, gameplay is pretty simple. Being an escape room, you will of course be walking around to see what puzzles you’ll be dealing with, looking at the clues you have access to, and spotting what puzzle you can solve now, while also keeping a mental note on puzzles he can’t solve yet. You will also be able to pick up key items and click others to interact with it or get some flavor text. And from here, you’ll be picking up or noticing environmental clues and use those to solve the various puzzles the escape room has. There is a good mix of environmental and logical puzzles, as well as solutions that have you use the items you picked up or entering something in (or both).

You can also pin key items so it’ll still be up when you exit out of your inventory. This will block some of your view, but this is pretty helpful when you need to look at a key item and something in the environment.

Once you solve the last puzzle and make it to the end, you’ll then see the escape room’s milestones where you’ll get to see when you got to certain points and when you solved each puzzle. You’ll also get graded by how well you did. As long as you finish within the time frame and use no hints, you’ll get either an A or A+.

Difficulty-wise, I feel Escape Academy hit the perfect middle ground. Or, at least, for me. I felt the puzzles weren’t too easy that you’ll be able to know the solution right away, but also not hard where you’ll get stuck. There are a couple tricky puzzles, but once it finally clicks, or you either use the hint system or look up the solution, it might make you feel a bit dumb since everything was laid out for you. This balancing made the game really fun to play through and, with the help of the delightful theming, can easily put you in the “okay just one more escape room”.

The only thing I had trouble with the most was during a late-game escape room that has you moving ladders to a specific spot. One ladder was fine, but the other was more of a hassle than it should have been due to that part of the room being too dark to see the ladder tracks.

Just like the game, I recommend having paper beside you as you play. Unless you have really good memory, it really helps having something to write down clues you need to remember and having a place to work out puzzles. Plus it really cuts out time you would use going back and forth (or looking back and forth) between the clue(s) and the place you have to solve the puzzle at.

Don’t worry, you can replay escape rooms by going into your dorm and looking at your corkboard. Your dorm also has some other nice things as you can look at the badges you have (and see the flavor text that’s with them) and mementos from escape rooms, which some you can interact with.

There are side conversations you can have, which you unlock at least one after completing an escape room. It usually pertains to what just happened as well as giving you more perspective on the character that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to get during the escape room. I’m not too sure if these pile up, since I did go through them as they came along, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t.

Escape Academy also has co-op, which seems like it would be a lot of fun if you have someone to play this game with. And looking at a co-op playthrough does solidify this thought. Escape Academy is still good playing solo though, so don’t worry about needing a friend unless you want to get all achievements.


I liked Escape Academy more than I thought I would. It fell in the category of finishing it all in one sitting and having time fly as I had fun doing all the different escape rooms. The puzzles, I felt, fell perfectly into the middle difficulty-wise as they weren’t too easy or hard (with the occasional tricky puzzle). I also did like the story and the characters, which I wished we had more time with. I do wish there was a bit more here, as I do suggest picking this up when it’s on sale, but I’m still happy with Escape Academy.


♡ ♡ ♡ A witch that goes for anything that peaks her interest no matter the genre. Currently obsessed with the Persona series and trying to make a dent in my backlog. ♡ ♡ ♡

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