The Escapists provides players the opportunity of experiencing a light-hearted insight into everyday prison life with the main objective being that of escaping!
User reviews: Very Positive (1,432 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 20, 2014

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Early Access is the perfect fit for The Escapists! We’ve got all the lovely ingredients in there to mould it into a wonderful game and with continued commitment and listening to welcomed community feedback we know we’ll produce something special.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“By their very nature Early Access games don’t have a set release date. The Escapists is already in a very playable state and plans are in place to add even more cool features. If you pressed me I’d say absolutely everything would be wrapped up by mid to end 2015.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

The Early Access version of The Escapists includes an exclusive prison map - Fhurst Peak Correctional. The Early Access version and final release will be very different indeed. There’ll be a ton more content, more escape routes, more crazy items, just more more and more! Oh, and a whole load more polish to boot.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The current version is shaping up just nicely… We’re pretty much at a point where we need players and feedback. Early access will allow us to sit and listen making future builds even better!”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Yes, we're offering The Escapists at a special Early Access price as a thank you to all the inmates who start planning their route to freedom early.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Greatly… We’re entirely open to any and all ideas. As far as The Escapists is concerned – it’s all good. We’ll be after all manner of ideas regarding the game as a whole and look forward to hearing from players. We'd like to encourage the community to be vocal - ideas matter and will help shape The Escapists into the best game we know it can be.”
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Recommended By Curators

""It's a prison... escaping... lifestyle... thing""
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (20)

December 23

The Mexican Escapists: UPDATE 6! New Prison! Localisation! Custom Dialogue! Tutorial!


It's the most wonderful time of the year. I get to go home, eat turkey and laugh at rubbish cracker jokes. You lot get transferred to the San Pancho detention facility. I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time there.

Update 6 for The Escapists is packed with new stuff, and it's our Christmas present to you. Here's the lo-down, cons:


San Pancho Prison
San Pancho Prison has been added to the game. Your hardest challenge yet, the inmates are horrifically violent - even the guards don't dare enter. Good luck cons, you're going to need it.

You asked us for a tutorial, so we knocked you over the head with a flimsy shovel. Whilst you're dreaming, you'll learn the basics of the game - how to control your con, how to interact with the world around you and the basics of masterminding an escape.

Be sure to visit sickbay when you wake up. Concussion is really, really bad for you.

It begins! Our first localisation update is in the game with German, Spanish and French languages. This is VERY much a work-in-progress and we've set up a dedicated "localisations" thread so that you can show us where the gaps are. Find that here.

Massive, massive appreciation for Sgt_Cuz for helping with the German. Huge, huge love to Gaunth for helping us with Spanish and our un-requenting love for AngeArtilleur for showing us how to French. Thanks guys <3

Custom Dialogue!
You can now edit the things that NPC's say. Head over to the Custom Speech Files board to learn more!

We've worked with 2 of YouTubes most popular criminals to bring you some custom dialogue files to get started with. Check out Warden Sparrow's file here, or add a little Punchwood to your game with Paul Soares Jr's dialogue file here

New Workouts
You asked us to look at the "working out" situation, some of you don't like mashing Q&E, others like it. So, we've added new workouts that don't require button mashing to even the playing field!

Check out the punch bags, skipping ropes and speed bags in your facility's gym.

Want more?

Head to the community forums to see the full change log including bug fixes and tweaks!

We hope you enjoy the update. From Chris, myself and everyone at Team17 - happy holidays, many presents, lots of food and don't do anything that Jimmy Locke wouldn't do.


MT17 & ChrisD

P.S - If you liked this update, use the thumbs up button below to tell us. It helps us get The Escapists' noticed on all of Steam's best bits. <3

Follow @Escapists_Game on twitter for competitions, real escapists and more!

21 comments Read more

December 3

Prisoners: Live CCTV Feeds Now Available


Thanks to an update to internal systems, your friends and loved ones can now watch you go about your confinement live on the internet.

The service is currently in a beta trial and prisoners will need to opt in to take part. For full instructions on how to opt in, check this link:

We encourage all prisoners to take part in the beta trial and are thoroughly looking forward to spectating your regular weekly beat-downs and/or crunching popcorn as you throw yourself at electric fences. Please be aware that any live streams may be used for marketing purposes and/or prison staff entertainment.

Live streams currently in progress can be viewed here:


Warden Mike

*This is not a thing and I just made it up. I like pie.

13 comments Read more
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Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards


“The Escapists models the life of a prisoner fantastically, and provides the tools to live out your prison escape fantasy in a way that I haven’t seen in a video game, ever. I highly recommend picking it up”
Indie Love

“As far as originality and fun factor go, The Escapists does a lot of things right, and things can only improve from hereon.”
Hardcore Gamer

“The pixel art and excellent soundtrack do a great job in setting the atmosphere, and the game has a great base concept that encourages exploration and improvisation.”
Strategy Informer

About This Game

The Escapists provides players the opportunity of experiencing a light-hearted insight into everyday prison life with the main objective being that of escaping! Players will have to keep in line and juggle their time sensibly as they form their personal plan of escape; working out potential routes to use as well as being incredibly smart and clever in using what seem like harmless items to craft and create various weaponry and escape tools which help aid the player in their ultimate goal of escaping.

Players are tasked with advancing their character's statistics through various means such as exercising regularly and ensuring to boost their intellect as well… Whilst remembering to attend roll call, hold down their job and keep the inmates on side if you're to be successful in trading with them and ultimately… Don't forget to escape!

  • 5 Fully operational prisons complete with routines to give you a flavour of how it *really* is inside!
  • 10 Separate job opportunities for you to sink your teeth into… If you have the knowledge to earn and hold down these employment paths of course!
  • 100 + Unique Items for you to seek out and perhaps even craft useful items with. (Team17 fully endorse the use of various weapons such as ‘shivs’, ‘nunchucks’ and ‘maces’ – within a fictional setting of course!).
  • Various Favour types for you to tackle offered up by inmates – You wouldn’t want to go upsetting them now, would you?
  • Highly opinionated and incredibly funny inmates and guards to keep you on your toes as well as providing entertainment!
  • Multiple escape routes for you to work out and achieve the title of ‘The Escapist’!
  • Multiple save slots so you can have more than one escape attempt on the go!
  • Steam Leaderboards – Once you have escaped see how you fared against other successfully escaped players!

  • Prison Editor – Create from scratch your very own confinement masterpiece and share it with the community!
  • Differently laid out and themed prisons for you to attempt escaping from – including the P.O.W camp!
  • New items for you to track down and new craft-able items to work out!
  • More routes for you to figure out as you plot your escape!
  • More job roles to be provided for you to take up!
  • More customisation elements for your player avatar!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Dual Core CPU 2.4 gHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000, Nvidia GeForce 8000, ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Sound Card: Windows Compatible Card
    • Additional Notes: In some instances, systems may require model specific drivers. If your system manufacturers no longer support hardware under this category, it may not be possible to run this title. Should this be the case, we are unable to assist you and recommend that you pursue support from your respective system manufacturer. This issue is most common in laptops and is prevalent with select products from most leading manufacturers.
Helpful customer reviews
250 of 274 people (91%) found this review helpful
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
Early Access Review
Ah, The Escapists. Such a great game. Where do I start? Let's just do the old pro's and con's.
+AMAZING gameplay.
"Simple" objective (escape the prison) and there are sidequests that you can do for your fellow prisoners.
+Character Deveopment.
Ok, this might sound weird, but this game actually has its own way of a character development. Let's say that you do some sidequests and give away items or cash, then the prisoner(s) that you gave away items to or did sidequests for will have a better opinion on you. That's actually very important. If the prisoners rate you a good opinion (50+), then they will never attack you, give you more money for quests, and give you information when talked to. If the player recieves a bad opinion, then the prisoners that view you that way will attack you, say really useless or mean stuff to you, and give you less money for sidequests. Wait, one more thing, you can buy things from prisoners, and if they like you, then you get a discount. If not, more money.
This game for the most part is somewhat realistic. You're in a prison, and you have to escape. You scout around the prison and see what there is to be seen. However, time goes by really quickly (one hour in the game feels like 1 or 2 minutes). Oh yeah, and you can get money in prison. How neat is that?
+Different prisons
There are different prisons, each one being more easy or more difficult than the others. I'm telling you, after you beat the easiest prison, you go to another one, it's gonna be really really difficult. The two problems is that the easiest prison gives a bad impression to the future ones, and that the harder ones are impossible if you DON'T use a guide. (There you go SweetJesus)

Since you're in a prison, this should be pretty obvious, but still. I have to warn you, you get so little time to move around and explore, that this game is a ton harder than it should be. You try to escape, but you see a guard in a place that you never knew about and then you get sniped and lose all of your stuff. I know it's realistic, but the player should be able to explore more of the prison.
Now, I'm only talking about hard to get items. You somehow manage to knock out a guard, and steal his key. You better escape within a short amount of time, 'cause he's gonna wake up soon and you'll get taken in again. Now, there are different keys. Each one opening a specific amount of doors. And you have no idea how to get the keys, so those items that you see in the isolated hallway is gonna be impossible to get to, and that weird room with the generator is a no-no.
One hour in this game literaly feels like a minute. I know you're not supposed to play a game for 12 hours straight, but it all feels so fast. So much you have to do in so little time, that I think it's a little stressful and intense for players who are new to this game.
-The first prison (easiest)
Ok, this is kind of a weird con. But I think it's appropriate that I place this here. The very first prison, the easiest one, gives a terrible impression on how future prisons will be. You do all of this work to escape, only to figure out it's really really easy. You expect the next one to be slightly harder, but no. The next prison after that is very, very hard. I still have a lot of trouble to escape it. The first prison should give the player more of a challenge. All you really gotta do is lure a guard near a door, knock him out, steal his key and go. The next prison, I didn't even know how to escape it for a long while.

Overall, this is a pretty neat game. Not bad at all, only I would recommend looking up a beginners guide first to get an idea of things rather than just charging in. I rate this game a 7/10. The replay value is amazing, the concept is really nice, but there are some things that could make this game a little better.
I hope this review helps.
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49 of 53 people (92%) found this review helpful
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 22
Early Access Review

The Escapists is a game about escaping prison. You play as one of the prisoners in a variety of different prisons. Despite its initial appearance, the game has an extreme level of depth and even the prison listed as Very Easy (Center Perks) is hard enough that I have yet to escape.

Speaking of escaping, there are many methods of doing so, but almost anything you do can be traced back to you by the guards. You can steal plastic knives from the cafeteria and cut the vent open in your cell - but they'll trace it to you. You can climb onto the roof - but you'll get sniped by the guards in the towers. You can dig a tunnel towards the outer fence - but you might leave dirt lying around and the warden will have the hole caved in.

You can perform favors for other prisoners to get money, which can be used to buy things from other prisoners. Favors might involve beating down another inmate or taking an item. Many items are illegal (red name) and you will be sent to solitary confinement if you are found with one or one is found in your desk during a cell search.

Life in The Escapists is all about keeping the guards off of you, and to do that, you must follow prison routine. In the monring is roll call - you must attend this or the entire prison will be put into lockdown. You also have a job that you must do. The following is the routine on the first prison, Center Perks:

  1. Morning Roll Call
  2. Breakfast
  3. Free Time
  4. Lunch
  5. Work, or Leisure if unemployed
  6. Exercise
  7. Showers
  8. Evening Meal
  9. Evening Free Time
  10. Evening Roll Call
  11. Lights Out

You also have skills that can be used. Speed determines your movement speed, strength your attack damage, and intellect is your crafting smarts. You find crafting recipes through notes you can buy (or steal from others), and these stats can be raised in different ways but degrade over time.

But this review is getting long, and I don't want to explain every aspect of this game, so let me list off some pros and cons.

  • Very in-depth; great variety of items
  • Large variety; many ways to escape
  • Flavorful; lots of chatting and makes the prison seem real
  • Complete feeling; feels like a full game even in early access
  • Buggy; sometimes there are bugs, like guards shouting at you to get to work while you are at work or people you can't interact with whatsover, i.e. infirmary staff or the warden
  • Solitary; if something is traced to you, you go into solitary regardless of current position or state - basically instant, with no opportunity to escape it
  • Unclear; the game only has a vague tutorial and you must learn on your own, which CAN be fun
Let me tell you a story.

I was a prisoner at the first prison. During the first three days, I made quite a hideout. I made paper mache out of toilet paper and super glue, which I made a fake vent cover out of so I could freely climb up and down the vents without fear of leaving it open. I had a massive storage of illegal supplies, a bludgeoning weapon made out of a sock with soap inside of it, and an outfit with metal plates beneath the cloth. Most of the inmates liked me, and I constantly went around bruising people for pay/

One night, I decided to explore the vents more. I left a dummy made with pillows under the covers of my bed to fool the guards into thinking I was asleep. WIth some floss, I cut through slats in the system and saw a stash on the other side of a vent which I could not bypass. I figured I could cut through the vent and go across.


I fell into the infirmary office. The door was locked, and I hadn't had the foresight to make a key from a mold. In other words, I was trapped, and the infirmary staff always lock the door when they came in. I searched all night for a way through the vent, started chipping through the walls with a screwdriver (which broke), and as the sun rose I resigned to my fate and hid in the supply closet. After morning roll call, the prison went on lockdown. As the confused inmates reported to their cells, I received a notice that the military was on their way to the prison.

After a minute and a half, I was found and thrown into solitary.

Final Score
Very in-depth, great fun, and feels complete though in early access. However, it has some standing flaws and errors which interfere with gameplay.

I rate The Escapists 8/10.
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51 of 59 people (86%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 23
Early Access Review
Showed up to dinner late

Got shot in the face

Was this review helpful? Yes No
36 of 40 people (90%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 22
Early Access Review
Day 1 Bill offered me $25 to beat Bill up
Day 2 Bill offered me $18 to find a battery Bill stole from him
There is only one person named Bill in my prison 10/10
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27 of 34 people (79%) found this review helpful
34.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 6
Early Access Review
I liked this game before I started playing it. I first heard about it from the Youtubes. This game has a lot of potential, and I believe will go to many great places in the indie gaming industry. It's much fun; interacting with other inmates, running from guards you've jumped, and sneaking about at night. When escaping, or doing something else risky, my heart begins to race, which is a good thing.

I do recommend it very much, it's only $15, so if you got that to spare, then certainly buy this.
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69 of 109 people (63%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
Early Access Review
Don't drop the soap.
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59 of 100 people (59%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 15
Early Access Review
Day 1:

Go through daily routine like a well behaved prisoner.

Day 2:

Suspisiously steal all spoons from cafeteria...

Day 3:

Constantly take bedsheets of of bed, somehow the magicaly respawn.... -_-

Day 4: Hang up bedsheets over cell bars, dig hole with spoons...


Was this review helpful? Yes No
11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 15
Early Access Review
It was all fun and games until I dropped the soap...

10/10 would drop again
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26 of 40 people (65%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 6
Early Access Review
the game where you:
-beat up people
-get contraband items
-run away from the cops
-try to be a thief
-and ESCAPE.....

-and craft ALOT of stuf
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 22
Early Access Review
Good gameplay with nice replayability. I love the simple yet challenging idea to the game, with different levels of difficulty i think this can suit anyone and really is worth a try
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
Early Access Review
The game is incredibly fun.
You could suspect that it purposefully saves your progress in a way that makes you just want to keep on playing and playing!
Except for a few bugs where NPCs glitch and get stuck in the walls, and doors disappear, it is playable AND enjoyable. I really can't wait for the promised "Build your own prison" mode. Perhaps a multiplayer mode would enhance the joy of this game even further, but that is just my opinion.

It reminds me a lot to Minecraft and Prison Architect, which the creators may have been inspired by.
The game is said to be released in late 2015, if you don't like glitches and bugs I would wait for the full release, but if you want to experience the mechanics you should buy it now.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
17.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
Early Access Review
This game is an exellent experience and is very addicting. It Is challenging and fun at the same time. There and many ways of escape than just one. It is well worth the money and the game is being frequently updated. Rate 9/10
p.s. This game would be amazing if can be played multiplayer.
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12 of 19 people (63%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 6
Early Access Review
The Escapist is nothing like Prison Architure, in this game your are the prisoner trying to break the sytems way by escaping in the shortest time possible. You do alot of stuff especily considering this is in alpha and still has more to come, (Hopfully like prison building and jobs and more stuff). The only thing that's wrong is a few animatons and favors (quest) glitching out. For instence you can be asked to get little Bobby a teddy bear and get $18 dollers from it, then find one give it to Bobby and not get the $18. You can escape in 1 day or 365 days (or more)
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
Early Access Review
very enjoyable game even in early access i can't wait for more features or maps to be added along the line i've only played about 2 or 3 hours and after i post this review i'm gonna jump in for more i still have to escape for the first time. i'm enjoying the simpe gameplay with the complicated escape overtones i'd give the game a solid 9/10
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
Early Access Review
Buy the game, its amazing. It seems simple but it is a challenge i spent like 13 hours of gameplay and still havnt escaped. I think it would be cool to make a cop mode (where your the cop) or a co-op mode (where you can play with friends.)
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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 1
Early Access Review
i liked every thing about it the only problem was the doors would glitch and disapere for a few seconds
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19 of 34 people (56%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
Early Access Review
Get it. XD It's seriously awesome. Just to escape for my first time, it took me 200+ minutes. XD Great for the thinking mind. There are those rare alpha games that feel like it's complete, and this is one of them.
GET IT. ^.^
-November 29, 2014
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 18
Early Access Review
Many people seem to like games where you sneak out of prisons because they're fulfilling.
A much more fulfilling thing is finding the guards who locked you up, beating them senseless, tying them up and then walking out like you own the place.

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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
11.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 23
Early Access Review
This game, is my... get this.


This game is like Hard Time (Old Prison Simulator) if Hard Time, wasn't crap.

This game lets you challange yourself to escape various different prisons, in various different ways.

Presentation: 10/10, The presentation of this game... is through the roof. The pixel graphics are shiny and polished... despite being pixel graphics, if this game had any other art style, this would be down in the 8-5 range. This game is VERY well presented, UI is being overhauled every other update, and getting better.

Humour: 10/10, This game is funny, YOU CAN FLUSH WALLS DOWN TOILETS! #NuffSaid (This will not affect my overall rating)

Gameplay: 7/10, This game is missing, ONE... MAJOR... THING... Multiplayer.
If this game had multiplayer, this would be in my top 5 games, of all time, ever. (It's gotta beat Theme Hospital and Age of Empires II to reach it though)
Multiplayer would drastically increase this game's replay value, as now. It's almost a cakewalk once you've beaten the prisons once, they are adding new ones, but they are still not worth replaying.

Level Design: 6/10, this game's level design, is where it's main weak point is. In order to make certain maps difficult, it resorts to doing things like, DELETING THE VENTILATION SYSTEM. That doesn't make anything more difficult, it makes files useless. I was never a huge fan of the vent system anyway, tunnels are where it's at. But I used them for my daily cell shakedowns, drop in, check the desk, loot, jump back up, repeat. They resort to placing metal detectors everywhere, and making it impossible to dig out of the prison directly. They need to beef up the guards, or make walls harder to crack down, something that makes logical sense.

Bugginess: 3/10, I'll let this slide, it is in early access, and most of the bugs I will state in the following, are ones that have/will be patched. I've had expiriences with guards walking through walls, desks emptying at random, loosing save files, having negative stats, I've had too many bugs to make this worth speedrunning, believe me, I've tried. This again, is in EARLY ACCESS. So this will not affect the overall rating.

Replayability: 3/10, there is only a handful of ways to escape, once you've escaped once, you have to go back, to the same prison, which you have likely memorized the layout of, and cut into the vents instead of digging through miles of dirt to freedom, then holding the guards hostage, then just disguising as a guard and walking out. It's just not enough. More random generation would be great, maybe more than one place your cell is per prison. Have your cell in a random location. This is the game's weakest point. This WILL affect my overall rating because this is important for a singleplayer game, with multiplayer, this would become a 7/10.

Overall: 8/10, Great Game, Cheap, Easy to Reccomend, Easy to Play and stop at any moment, but suffers from bugs and lack of replayability, as well as faulty stability, and plenty of bugs. Overall, I highly reccomend this game, and it is one of my favorites. Note to the devs: ADD MULTIPLAYER AND I WILL BUY 10 COPIES OF YOUR GAME, AND DISTRIBUTE THEM TO MY FRIENDS.

Thanks for reading my review.

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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
15.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 7
Early Access Review
i would say that this is probley the best prison game ever! i love it so much even tho it is hard its just so good! buy this game if you like prison games!!!
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