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 (5,275 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 13, 2015

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Recommended By Curators

"A fun Early Access Prison Escape game, while still being developed and not done you can still find enough fun in it to make it worth the cost right now."

Recent updates View all (38)

April 24

Hotfix: Custom Map Saves and Editor UI


A small update is currently tunnelling its way to your hard drive that fixes 2 problems raised in the forums since the last update:

  • Saving your game on prisons from the Steam Workshop should now work correctly.
  • The "Floor" dropdown box will no longer obscure other menus within the Prison Editor beta once clicked.

Thank you for vigilantly reporting these miscreants in the Report a Problem forum. Now, get back to work - those kitchen meals wont cook themselves.


41 comments Read more

April 20

The Escapists: The Kowalski Update


A new update for The Escapists is now live with a host of fixes and improvements to the prison editor beta trial, based on your excellent feedback in our forums.

We've also added a new NPC to the game. BAM.

Let’s get stuck in, shall we?

The Escapists Prison Editor Beta (Steam Only):

Added the ability to update maps on Steam Workshop:
This means that, if you’re making changes to an existing map, you’ll no longer need to create a new Workshop file.

IMPORTANT: Updating an existing prison will invalidate any existing player save data for that prison – be sure to warn your inmates!

Added tagging to Prison Editor and Workshop:
You’ll now be able to choose from a few tags that will help players find your prison in the Steam Workshop! You’ll be able to give players an indication of how difficult your prison is, the style of your prison and its development status (Complete – no more updates / Work In Progress – players should expect updates).

There are also additional tags which will be set automatically depending on the settings that you apply to your prison during creation.

Please note: prisons with incorrect tags (eg: YouTuber prisons tagged as Real Prisons) may be removed by the moderators. Tag accurately!

Added additional language support for the prison editor beta:
German, French, Spanish, Russian and Polish languages are now supported. To change the language in use, use the buttons on the game launcher.

The “undo” function now works correctly when undoing object placements.

The Escapists Game:

• Fixed multiple bugs relating to prisoners being inappropriately sideways.
• Guard Towers will no longer shoot prisoners at night time.
• Fixed an issue which caused fake wall blocks to be placed incorrectly.
A new visitor will now visit inmates at the visitation area.
A new item has been added to the game. The “DoDo Donut” can be found as a rarely spawning item in item spawn locations. Using this item will replenish fatigue and make you “Rad”.



80 comments Read more


“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 the opportunity of experiencing a light-hearted insight into everyday prison life and, as is the case with all inmates, the main objective is escape! While under the careful watch of the guards, players will need to go about their daily duties clandestinely secreting useful objects from under their captors’ noses. Potential escapees will learn how to craft seemingly innocuous items into useful tools and even weapons as well as using them to execute cunning diversionary tactics.

Players will need to learn when to keep in line, utilising their time sensibly as they develop their own personal plans of escape. Learning the prison’s daily routines and spotting opportunities are all part of life behind bars. Working out potential routes and even misdirecting guards soon become second nature.

Whilst remembering to attend roll-call, holding down their job and keeping their fellow inmates on side, players are can also benefit from advancing their character's statistics through various means including boosting their intellect and exercising regularly. Balance mundane routine with careful planning to attain your ultimate goal - escape and freedom!

  • 8 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!
  • 185+ 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 Achievements to strive for.
  • 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!

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
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Windows Compatible Card
    • Additional Notes: We recommend updating your PC's hardware drivers before playing. If your PC is no longer supported by your manufacturer and your hardware drivers are very old, you may experience difficulty running the game. Please check with your PC manufacturer for more details.
Helpful customer reviews
648 of 670 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
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 attack 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1,420 of 1,628 people (87%) found this review helpful
48 people found this review funny
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
Pre-Release 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
Bill has problems
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
411 of 443 people (93%) found this review helpful
25 people found this review funny
58.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
"Welcome to the Salty Spitoon, how tough are you."
"How tough am I, i escaped HPM irongate."
"Without any Duct tape."
"Right this way sir sorry to keep you waiting."

I miss being on top of most helpful
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
538 of 612 people (88%) found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
Early Access Review
Day 1- New life, new prison, new rules. I relize that I am the oldest member of the prison. I am 87 years old.
Day 2- I was wrong. I am not the oldest. There is a 89 year old aswell. This does not please me.
Day 3- Lost my job. That now means i can use work time to plot my fellow senior's death.
Day 4- I found out one of two things. 1: The fellow elder's name is Bill. 2: Bill also lost his job. Now is my time to strike.
Day 5- I cornered Bill in the bathroom. I had previously stolen a baton and was able to beat Bill t o death with it.
Day 5 side note- The officers found out and beat me. I woke in the infirmary.
Day 6- I couldn't believe it. There was Bill, healthy as ever. I had killed him hadn't I? Something is fishy here and it's not just the lunches.
Day 7- I just remembered that this game was not a prison sim it was an escape sim. Tried to break out and was shot to death.

10/10 would be shot as an old man again
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330 of 366 people (90%) found this review helpful
15.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
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. Also, there are 3 skills that your character can learn. Intellect, strength, and speed. Intellect allows you to become more smart at get higher paying jobs. Strength determines how much damage you can take before passing out, and how much damage you can deal. Speed is, well, how fast you can move. (striker311111)
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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249 of 268 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
Early Access Review
I love how this game works.
-Lots of gameplay
-Creative 'escape' factor
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
200 of 210 people (95%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
17.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 15

This game is incredible. Namely, the feeling that you get when you are almost completely sure you've set up everything right, and are about to escape, but you never know if it'll work until you try.

I've left the dummy in the bed, I've knocked out my roomate, I've put the poster back over the hole in the wall, I've taken enough plastic knives to finish cutting the fence, and I didn't forget to put on my guard uniform. But did I remember fatigue? Oh no! I didn't bring any chocolate bars to make it through the night! For this, I'm stuck sawing at the fence until dawn when the snipers come back and knock me out. I'm placed in solitary for a few days. I've missed my chance.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
737 of 877 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
Early Access Review
Needs Multiplayer for more Fun!
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226 of 256 people (88%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 27
Cellmate keeps snitching to the guards

Had to knock him out with a good beating via a bar of soap in a sock

This has become a daily occurence

Realized I could store stuff in his desk

Gave him all my "contraband" goods

Got searched in a shakedown

Currently spending his time in the SHU

Destroying 8bit NPC lives


Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
432 of 522 people (83%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
55.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 14
Matthew offered me $25 to beat Matthew up
There is only one person named Matthew in my prison 10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
316 of 375 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
Early Access Review
Backwards prison architect. Pretty fun.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
241 of 278 people (87%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
Early Access Review
Day 1: Start a Tunnel
Day 2: Build up them muscles
Day 3: Beat up some Guards
Day 4: Hide stuff in your vent
Day 5: Explore the roof
Day 6: Got caught for stealing a key, game says 'LOL Now you have to start all over again! ;)

The Escapists is very unpredictable 10/10
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677 of 857 people (79%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
13.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
Early Access Review
Showed up to dinner late

Got shot in the face


Edit: Due to all the whiners who can't take a joke,yes. This is a good game. I recommend it. Can you stop whining now? Thanks.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
114 of 116 people (98%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
22.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Early Access Review
The Escapists is a game by Mouldy Toof Studios. It puts you in one of numerous prisons with the simple goal of escaping. But it isn’t as easy as you think, the point of a prison is to keep you in your place, which is what this game does.

You get the choice of one of numerous characters who you can rename, a prison, and the option to name your prisoners if you had a friend you wanted to be with during your life sentence. When it comes to content the game is incredible, there are many different items you can get hold of from soap to post cards. That’s not even all, you can combine items to make more stuff to help you escape; paper mache for fake walls, nunchucks for attacking, key molds, Dummies, glass shanks, fake grates, posters, grappling hooks and so much more!

This game requires lots of planning, you can’t just beat up a guard, take his keys and leave. You need to spend some time exercising to get strong, you need key molds to keep keys or else you get time in solitary, there are guard patrols everywhere and even clogging the toilet with dirt from the hole you’ve been digging. You need to plan how you’re going to escape and balance you actual escape attempt with the prison timetable; eating, sleeping, free time, work and roll call. If you don’t fill your work’s quota then you get fired, complete the quota though and you get money to bribe other prisoners or buy stuff from them.

The actual gameplay itself is really well done, everything is quite solid and the game is most definitely playable. You can choose from many ways to escape, through the vents, underground, through the front door or even starting a riot. The graphics is designed to look 8-bit, a nice look for many games that is also fairly easy to make. The audio in the game is very well made, and if you like the music playing in the background you can get the music from the game’s steam folder.

If you enjoy playing games that require work and planning for you to play and succeed then this is the game for you. I rate this 10/10 in its current Early Access state, it’s a solid game worth the cost to buy it. When it leaves Early Access I don’t think there’s a rating system high enough to grade it… or at least that’s what I think will happen when it leaves Early Access anyway.
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156 of 172 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
48.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
Early Access Review
What more can you want (Except later updates)?
Escape from prison, in the most strange and familiar ways possible, from digging out with a spoon to beating up all the guards and been allowed to WALK out the prison, helped by the warden.
This game has an incredible range of difficulty:
If you want to escape a prison, then probably return because they have free food, nice guards (Bodyguards almost) and deluxe toliet paper, choose Center Perks.
If you want to (Fail at) escape(ing) prison because they have inmates tougher than the guards (and thats saying something), A personal army armed with stunsticks that knock alomost ANYTHING out with one hit, A small sea and shaving cream then choose HMP Irongate.
Also have glitches and a guard heat that is sometimes very funny:
If you want to get shot in the balls get to breakfast late that one to many times.
If you want to knock out a guard with zero retaliation, do it with a pillow on a certain map (Im not saying which, Bug exploit)
Amazing inmate (And own) comments:
If you want to ask another inmate whether he made friends in the shower room, do it there.
If you want to swear while tring to be sneaky, break a tool while trying to escape steathly (no-one will hear you scream F-)
Weapons that are really awesome.
If you want to wield nunchucks, two timber and a wire
If you want to nearly kill people with soap, put it in a sock
If you want to make a weapon out of just a comb, hit it agaisnt a wall
In short, If you want to have fun, GET THIS GAME!
666 out of 21
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341 of 418 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
Early Access Review
It was all fun and games until I dropped the soap...

10/10 would drop again
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173 of 196 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 4
Pre-Release Review
Got this game when it came out for about 5$ full. Loved it when it was in Early Access and now the game is 18$? It's a great game. But not an 18$ "good game". I suggest getting this when it is a little lower in price (if ever).
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132 of 143 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
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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176 of 204 people (86%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
Early Access Review
-dont drop the soap
-be alright with the fact that when you sleep with no bedsheets or pillows on, people WILL come in and magically make the bed for you before you wake up
-DONT show up to dinner late ;D

I rate this 10 plastic spoons out of 10
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286 of 353 people (81%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
Early Access Review
I got sniped.
I have not escaped after ten days.
I don't expect to ever escape.
Now I'm in solitary.
And on Very Easy mode.

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