Made by a 15 year old developer and published by Sometimes you, Escape from Life Inc is a Lost Vikings-style puzzle platformer with a comedic narrative. The graphical presentation looks like it was created in MS Paint but don’t let the visuals be distracting as this 3-5 hour romp plays better than you might assume.
Taking control of a fish, a reindeer, and an eagle, the goal is to escape from an alien abduction using the strengths of each playable character. The fish, who is magically given legs so he can walk on land, is the only character that can traverse water. The reindeer can clear a path with his antler attack and the eagle can fly at will. Puzzles usually involve using each character’s abilities to hit a switch to allow access to the next area. Stages are also vast and encourage exploration and experimentation as there are optional secrets to be found. Completing each puzzle is usually pretty straight forward but there are a few head scratching moments that lack overall direction. Since each area is essentially its own space, getting stuck usually doesn’t last too long.
Composed of basic shapes and generic 90 degree angled platforms, the visuals are nothing fancy but that is entirely acceptable. Sure, it isn’t the best looking game but all visuals are clearly identifiable and they get the job done, serving their purpose. Some character sprites are more detailed than others, which might look a little weird, but this is a game about a walking fish trying to make their way home from being kidnapped by aliens, encountering robots and talking animals along the way. The soundtrack, however, is outstanding. In fact, the soundtrack is so good I have to assume the tunes were taken from the public domain or something, which again, is totally fine if this is the case. If you are distracted by the visuals, the soundtrack will keep you hooked.
Escape from Life Inc isn’t the best looking or best playing puzzle platformer out there but it can provide an enjoyable evening’s worth of entertainment. For a game made by a small young team, it is encouraging to see what they can produce next.
Also available on PS4, PS5, and Switch.
Also Try: Pikuniku
Don’t Forget About: Lost Vikings in the Blizzard Arcade Collection (Switch)