The Artful Escape

Tune it to tune out.

There are not many games that are exactly the length they should be, many struggle with that age old question – does length = value ? Adding in an endless and very often needless array of, side quests, bloated story sections that add nothing to the story or just add in a few fetch quests all just to paid out the games length by a few more hours.

The Artful Escape is different. It is exactly the length it should be. Which is a good thing, and not just because the game ends just as it starts to run out of ideas. What I really like about the game’s shortish lenght is that I feel like it wants to me make the most of my time, it want’s to me to enjoy myself to haev a good time and feel like during the game’s 3-4 hour play time, not a second was wasted. Nothing is puffed out stretched to an inch of it’s life before having an extra hour or so tacked on for good measure. Everything it’s streamlined to within an inch of it’s life, nothing is wasted or tacked on. The gorgeous physcadelic world of The Artful Escape is 3 hours-4 hours of pure indie gaming perfection.

Rocking out with a giant plant thing.

3-4 hours?

Yes and that’s all you need. You see The Artful Escape is here for a good time not a long time. It doesn’t want to hang around, watching you do things neither you or the game want to do. It’s here to tell it’s story and then get out – and look fabulous doing it.

So Pretty

The Artful Escape is one of the most visually stunning games I have ever played. Even playing on the XBox One the game looks incredible. Visuals popping left and right the caloydoscape worlds we see on our adventures are full of neon lights, wonderous landscapes and increbily designed citizens of the galaxy to meet. I forgot this was an indie game and all that’s before we start in your characters home town the town of Calypso. A town we see at the beginning of Autumn just as the citizen’s of the town are making the most of the last rays of sunshine, having lunch with friends of browsing through shops with names like: Maps for made up countries or shoes for the adventure as the leaves fall from the trees all around them. It’s one of the best looking towns I have seen and made me wish I could visit.

Story Beats

Although a brief title, it still contains a solid story and the story is really why you are here. Where the gameplay consists of nothing more than a few jumping sections and pressing buttons in time with your fantastic looking foe – sections that you can’t fail! The story is what gives the game it’s legs and moves it from an interactive movie and into the walking sim catergorie. It’s a game that isn’t interested in seeing the player fail. It wants you to succed not matter, how much you think you can’t. Yiou start of as (spoilers) Franics Vendetti the nephew of the much-loved and now very much deceased Johnson Vendetti Folk guitarist and singer extrodianre. It;s here we find Francis preparing to step out in front of a crowd full of people all eager to see the one person they can’t the deceased Johnson Vendetti and are making do with his nephew Francis. Only little Francis’ knows that no one really wants to hear him play, he knows this because he doesn’t want to play either, at least not the Folk music his uncle wrote. He wants to rock out to an electro filled Space Opera, inspired by his love of sc-fi, you see Francis wants to be his own person, but like most of us is paralysed by self doubt and wants to do what he thinks he is supposed to do and that’s where the game grabs the player by the hand and takes us through the Rabbit hole straight into outer space or straight into the heart of a Wes Anderson movie. Its up to you to decide.

Voice Cast

A special mention has to go to the incredible cast of voice actors who really elevate this Wes Anderson movie – sorry game into something, more than the strange, colourful, indie game it was probably destined with a cast including: Mark Strong, Lena Headey, Carl Weathers and Jason Schwartzman adding an extra level of polish to a game that was already very shiny. The conversations, of which there are a lot, feel quite meaty, giving a nice weight to a game that could of felt very through away.

Something to think about


I can’t recommend this game enough. It probably won’t be for everyone as there is no real challenge and there will be a few moans of ”it’s too short” but it’s still a fun play, add in the special sauce that it is available on X Box Game Pass and you really have no excuse not to at least give it a try.


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