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 (4,945 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.


15 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”.



68 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
51 of 53 people (96%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
23.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
The Escapists is a wonderful strategy title with crafting, sandbox play, and some rpg elements.


The graphics are are 2D top down. Done in great pixel graphics. The graphics seem to fit the title and I was impressed throughout the whole experience. All characters are different just enough so that you can tell them apart. I only had a little trouble with other inmates. a name box appears above their head so you dont get the wrong guy. Overall Graphics fit the gameplay and looked good. 8/10


The music is a basic midi type. Nothing really spectacular here. The tunes are well written and seem to fit the game . The sounds are basic. Blips and bleeps let you know when engaged in combat or the like. whooshing doors signal the opening of doors. Other little sounds abound throughout the game. 6/10


You are a prisoner sent to prison with only one thing on your mind. Escape. And The escapists gives you plenty of ways to do it. with an added crafting mechanic it makes things even more interesting. Put a bar of soap in a sock and you have a sock mace.
Attention to detail and routine is very important to this title as you have to go along with your normal prison routine as well as plan to escape. It is not as easy as it sounds. You also get jobs to perform such as laundry or the license plate shop. These jobs give you access to items for crafting. Just dont get caught and perform your job well. You can also work out and use a computer to buff your strength and intelligence meters. The meters help you along as some things require intelligence to overcome and some require strength. Adding this Rpg type element to the game was a great idea and it plays well. The added workshop support make this a gem you can play over and over. Overall I really enjoyed playing with The Escapists. 8/10
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50 of 56 people (89%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
21.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 2
Don't forget the spoon... never forget the spoon...
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46 of 52 people (88%) found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
33.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 4
"Sir a prisoner escaped!"
"He used a plastic fork"
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
This game is amazing, it doesn't really get old, as long as you aren't stuck on one prison, wich normally doesn't happen, but there's plenty of helpful youtube videos, the mechanics are great, escaping is entence as it should be, and its not too hard, or too easy. It's not very glitchy, in my 18 hours I've only found 2, one where a guard came to search my room, then just stood in it for the night, xD. Also, people can tend to get stuck into walls, wich isn't exactly GamEbreAking! I really suggest you buy it, one thing is buy it quickly, because in the begginging it was 10$, then 15$ now 18$, so it is going up, but don't fret too much. So, my one tip is
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17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
26.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
The Escapists will make your heart beat faster and make you sweat more than that one time you stole that candy bar from your local gas station.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
40.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
A tough as nails game with surprising depth. You will attempt to escape many times, and you will fail many times. You will rage, you will say the game cheats, you will get better, and you will ESCAPE.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
41.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 19
Do I recommend this? YEAH I DO!

The Escapists is a game where you are thrown into prison. You must escape the prison, and believe me, that's not easy.
Now, I'm going to be honest and give my pros and cons:

- Great art style. (32 bit?)
- Soundtrack is great. Every prison has their own free time song that plays.
- Challenging.
- Tons of items.
- Multiple, and I mean multiple escape routes. The first prison has over 3 escape routes!
- Favors are really easy to do.
- Inmates' speeches are pretty darn funny.
- Developers actually listen to us (the community)
- Each prison offers new items and layouts, and gets tougher each time.
- Map Editor!
- Has a realistic prison theme.

- None, go buy the game! (If you haven't.)

That's my short review. Of course everyone has their own opinion, and this happens to be mine.
10/10, definitely recommend.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
Early Access Review
The escapists is a game that reinvents escaping prison in a nice 8-bit arcadie style game. It has a multitude of ways to escape which can vary alot along with the many tools to help you with that. The game makes you feel like you are actually trying to escape prison which makes you feel really worried/stressed if you nearly get caught (especially at night). This game is a new and exciting genre of its type that works perfectly when put into practice. Only negative comment is that some bugs/glitches can occur when getting caught for a few off reasons, but other than that it is a great game and I'm sure they will patch it (hopefully). I would strongly recommened this game to anyone.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
29.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 2
This game is amazing and really makes you think. This is one of those games that really makes you put time and effort into it.
Basicly this game is awesome and really worth the money.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
Sadly escaping a prison with a plastic spoon is hard.... Next time ill try a FORK!!!! 10/10
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
As I had the privilege of meeting Chris Davis this weekend at Insomnia 54 (nice guy!), I thought I'd take the time to leave my thoughts.

An awesome prison simulator, with an old-school twist. Hours of fun to be had.

Each prison appears to have a well defined strategy, although alternative methods can be carried out (e.g. beating up all of the prison guards, molding gate keys., etc) Different prisons have a different routine to follow and it is vital that you get to know this routine in order to plan your escape successful. For example, a 10am rollcall must be attended to ensure the guards don't get suspicious that you're upto no good.

Clearly a lot of thought went into the crafting system. Items can be combined to make new ones that you will need in order to escape from the prison of choice.

I completely love the whole 8-bit vibe that The Escapists has going on. Old school graphics and old school sound effects help set the tone very well.

The only bug I've personally found in this game is when getting my intellect to 100 by browsing the internet at the computer in the first prison, the achievement did not unlock for me. I did get the chance to mention this to Chris, so I'm hoping this will get sorted out soon, if it hasnt been addressed already.

All in all, buy this game if you like challenging, stategic thinking and are looking for a game that will keep you engrossed for ages! (Drop the soap.)
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
21.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
this is a extremely addicting game and its one of my favorites. they could have added more people in each prison but its worth the money to buy it
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
72.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 1
I love this game! I was looking for a game like this for a long time. Now they added the prison editor where I can make my own prisons, i love it even more! I highly recommend this game! :D
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 7
This game was awesome when it came out. 9/10 Recently, it just got more awesome when they added a map editor. 10/10 If this had multiplayer, i swear to god.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
39.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 9
Life is like a hurricane here in Pri-son
Gurads, Snipers, Wardens, life is prison-dlur
Might escape prison, or get in trouble
Duck Tape! Woo-hoo!
Everyday i am looking for you
Duck Tape! Woo-hoo!

Game Get's 39 Duck tapes out of 10
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 11
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 30
The Escapists is a puzzle and sandbox game which tasks you with escaping several different prisons (each getting harder than the last).

I personally found this game to be very enjoyable, the game gives you plenty of ways to escape from a prison, giving the game a strong sandbox feel and high replay value. Don't expect to get out of prison on your first run fast though (unless you look at some guides), it takes a long time to find the right moment to take action, but you are rewarded with a strong sense of accomplishment once you leave the stone fortress behind.

Gameplay: The Escapists has a rich and deep system of ways to escape and content within the game. As stated earlier, there is plenty of different ways to escape from a prison. I like the way they incorporated your character's stats; you have to regularly train your character's ablities (going to the exercise room, reading, etc.) to improve your capabilites and keep your stats up high. It prevents simply maxing out all your stats and leaving the prison easily. The crafting system is complex and interesting, but I find it rather annoying that you have to buy the crafting notes from inmates (when one could simply use the wiki). Combat is rather boring, as it's simply a question of who is stronger/has a better weapon. This is easily forgiven though as combat is not the aim of the game.

Graphics: The graphics is a simple yet charming 2D art style. You can really see the amount of detail that went into the art.

Technical: Much to my delight, I have had absolutely zero technical issues (framerate, crashing, etc) with the game so far.

Music: Simple and rather bland. Most of the time it just acts as an ambience. While it's not terrible, don't expect an amazing soundtrack.

Final Score: The Escapists is a rich and rewarding game that is defiantly worth your time, although it may be a bit pricey for an early access game, it defiantly already is at a stage of completion with a few small issues and improvements that could be made.

EDIT: I am very happen to see the release of the prison editor and (extremely cheap) DLC for the game. Boosts my overall score to 8.8.

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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
22.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
Wow, what a great game. And I mean it.

The Escapists is a good original game, that focuses on escaping a prison. The prison's get harder and harder (obviously) but you actually need to think of ways to escape and actually use your brain for this game. Try playing the game without using it. You won't succeed.

Anywho. The controls for this game are hard to understand and are complicated at first glance but becomes very easy to use and understand afterwards. It makes learning a difficult process but makes the process worth it. Just try to buy the game, although I haven't seen any sales for it recently. I got it for $15 and I think its worth it.

Its actually been a long while since a game has got me so tense when succeeding/escaping. It gives you chills or nerves when your about to escape and a guard comes by you. It makes the whole game a nervewracking worthness. Its put in a 32-bit like pixels although it could be 48-bit.

9/10 Ducks
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
24.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 4
This is a great strategy game for anyone who wants to test their mental limit in planning and scheming.
The map editor needs to be improved though, as it is missing some important parts (if they're already in place and I'm just missing them, please tell me):
1) More selectable zones, specifically: library, mailroom, cells 11-20, infirmary, officer quarters, and employment offices.
2) More wall/fence options, like a four-way path and more three-way paths (up-left-right and up-down-left missing).
3) Some kind of tutorial or guide, or at least more detailed/clearer info when you hover over the objects.
I also feel like there should be a way to save or quick save during the day, since players currently need to play through an entire day before being able to save their game.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
What can be said about The Escapists? It's one of those games that hits you with a fresh breeze of nostalgia. The pixel graphics and some-what unforgiving gameplay reminds me of childhood classics such as Super Star Wars, Mario and one of the most unforgiving games made; Castlevannia. It keeps you playing for hour, conjuring elaborate ways to escape the many prisons, each one becoming much harder than the one before. It'll keep you locked away on your room for hours on end and is one of those games that you'll just keep coming back to even after completing it completely. A great game all-together which captures the gameplay of games that predate it. If you're looking for "stunning 3D graphics" and "realistic gameplay" you can go back to your FPS, and never returm. But if you're looking for "good satirical storyline that revolves around you" and "a challenge filled with nostalgia" then this game is for you.
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