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: Overwhelmingly Positive (3,782 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 (29)

February 13

WELCOME, PRISONERS - Hints, Tips & More!

Welcome to The Escapists.

The game is now available as a full release on the Steam Store. Click this link to go to the Store page:

Just Getting Started?
Downloading the game? Head over to our Guides section of the Community Hub and check out the community contributed walkthroughs and tips.

You should also check out The Escapists Wiki - a community site dedicated to crafting recipes, maps, walkthroughs and more. Bookmark it, I guarantee you'll want to return here often!

If you're REALLY stuck, create a new thread in our forum, head over to YouTube to see your favourite creators play or follow us on Twitter to ask the devs for advice!

Early Access Players
You guys rock. We can't thank you enough for all the help you've given us over the past 6 months. You've helped us to make this game the love-child of thousands of players. As thanks, you'll find that you have access to Fhurst Peak Correctional free of charge. Find it in the Custom Prisons tab on the map select screen.

Your game will have already been updated to version 1.0 and there's nothing else you need to do.

We do have one favour to ask - be nice to the new fish. They're going to need help from the prison veterans, don't let them cry themselves to sleep tonight.

What's Next?
We have BIG plans for The Escapists, and we're only just getting started. Stay tuned for news of the Prison Editor app and more content in the future.

More Questions?
Head over to the forums, we'd love to chat!

Thank you for purchasing The Escapists. Welcome to our prisons. It's Make or Break time!

P.S - after you've played the game for a while, be sure to leave an honest review! We'd love to get your feedback.


Chris D (Creator)
MT17 (Community Manager)
And everyone at Team17!

119 comments Read more

February 13

Launch Day FAQ


Launch day is upon us and it's time for The Escapists to break out of Early Access. Here's everything you need to know about the switch over:

What time will the game switch over to full release?
We expect that this will be around 6PM GMT / 10AM PST. The time may vary as Steam control the release.

Do I need to pay anything extra to get the full release?
If you've bought The Escapists Early Access, you wont need to pay anything. The game will update to the full version automatically.

Is there a game update today?
Yes - 1.0 will be released at around 6PM GMT / 10AM PST today. The update is largely functional with a few final bug fixes.

How do I access Fhurst Peak Correctional?
If you're an Early Access member, you'll automatically be granted the "Early Access Content" DLC once the game launches. This will unlock Fhurt Peak Correctional in game and you can find it under the custom prisons tab.

Anything else?
Good luck, prisoners. And thank you for your support!


159 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! Coming Soon – will be a free update / tool.

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
116 of 128 people (91%) found this review helpful
3 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
99 of 132 people (75%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 26
I got beaten by guards for dropping the soap in shower.
69/10 would drop soap again
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
Chipping trough walls with plastic forks. Crafting make-shift weapons. Scouting out the prison. Getting the right items. Dodging guards. Living prison life. Getting keymolds. Getting better jobs. Leveling stats. Getting a guard outfit. Covering up dug holes and chipped walls. Finnaly getting out to the perimiter wall. Get shot by a guard in a tower, taking all your items and putting you into solitary. Trying again. Succes. Reliazie this was the easiest prison, and a even harder one awaits you.

Sounds like fun? It is fun.


- 6 defualt prisons, along side 2 custom. (3 if you had early acces)
- A sea of non-craftable and craftable items.
- A easy to understand crafting system.
- A helpfull and lovely community.
- Amazing soundtrack.
- The abillity to name all guards and in-mates.
- 9001 ways to escape the prison.
- Very polished and alsmost bug free.


- No prison editor. (yet!)
- Very rage inducing.

So all in all, The Escapist is an amazing game and should be played at all costs. Fun and compelling, challenging and extrmely high quality. Easy to get into, hard to master. Well, I am off to see if my plan works this time.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
259 of 434 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
36.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 26
This review is helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
36.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 28
Really fun and great game. Excellent job. Could still use some work, but considering it was only released recently, very well done. The prisons definitely get difficult as you progress.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 28
I love this game 10/10! It has a great way of keeping you do the right thing while doing the wrong thing you need to have a great plan to escape.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
It is a epic prison game. One of the best games I've ever played.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
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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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
A really good game I've been here since Early Access hoping multiplayer comes out soon for this game!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
44 of 84 people (52%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 27
Dammit, I bought another game that was in early access and I feel screwed. I bought it after the "Full Release" though, so why do I feel screwed? Because this game does not feel like it should have been moved to "Full Release" yet.

Don't get me wrong. I love the idea of it and the degree of freedom it gives in terms of strategies you can come up with. I love the 8-bit semi-goofy guards, inmates, and general prison life. I love the interactions with your peers in crime and the routines of the day that you can end up using to your advantage. I love what they've done with it so far -- and while that is something okay to say about an early access game, it is not okay to say about a Full Release.

You see, none of those things feel fully fleshed out. Sure the NPCs have funny dialogue, but by 2-3 in-game days of play, you've heard it all. Oh, someone ate all the cream custards again? Or stole the warden's toupee? Shouldn't he have that glued on by now? And the amount of times your hear about an inmate's wife leaving them or dying is just not possible in a monogamistic society.
You can do favors for your fellow inmates but these are a selection of 3 different types of "Quests" with random targets: you're either going to find them an item, distract the guards at a specific time, or beat up someone they don't like. They get pretty repetitive shortly, and sometimes they play out ridiculously -- you beat someone up, notice they have a quest item on them for a quest that they gave you, take it from them, and then give it back to them to complete the quest. Some people think that's quirky and funny but to me it's an incomplete system. Why can I give someone their own pillow and complete a quest for them? And it would be cool to see other quest types, too, like an inmate asking you to plant evidence in another inmate's cell, or have them invite you to their escape attempts or vice-versa.

One of the biggest things that seems unfinished are the so-called "Instabusts". When you break a vent, dig a hole, steal a guard's key or do anything else "escapy", even when no guard is in sight or would otherwise know, you are almost intantly discovered unless you do something to cover it up. It makes sense to make a fake vent cover so a guard strolling by later won't notice anything suspicious, but they notice RIGHT AWAY, relying only on their psychic guard powers. They know it was you whether you're breaking a vent in the bathroom or have dug a hole in another inmate's cell, too. Sneakiness is out the window. Plus, the second that they detect you, you're thrown into solitary. They don't start sweeping the cells or climbing into the vents, you're just caught. With a note from the Warden saying "Nice Try", of course.
I can practically hear a meeting between the developers where one of them said, "And then we'll have the guards start a search or line up everybody for inspection," but they just never implemented it. It's a game mechanic where something more should happen but doesn't, and it feels incomplete.

When you put all these things together, you realize that the game's promise of "Think up your Own Escape Plan" doesn't really let you do all the strategies you may come up with. Want to conspire with other inmates to set up distractions or get supplies for you? Can't. Want to go to a seldom-patrolled part of the prison and climb into the vents? The guards will know anyway. Can you even make a key out of soap, one of the most used prison-break tropes? Nope.

Even as I write this, I worry I'm being too hard on this game. It's not like any of these things make it unplayable or broken. It just doesn't feel like a Full Release. In the time I played I kept thinking of mechanics and details that it would be cool for the dev team to add, but it's not in Early Access anymore. The game is even fun to play for a while, and this review is sooooo close to a Recommended. But, in the end, the game doesn't seem to have enough polish to make that fun varied or lasting. They should have finished it first.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 28
This is a game worth buying and playing for hours on end trust me i baught it thanks to jackseptieye and i have had so much fun trying to escape the varies prisons its really time consuming which is both good and bad in some situations. This game has no flaws from my point of view and opionion of it!!! I havent played it the longest time, but i have played it and wasent able to stop at times because of how fun, and all the things you can do in it. The art style is perfect for retro gamers, and fans of pixelated games, and it will run on pretty much any pc thanks to its simple yet fun format and style!!! Anyone with a steam account with 17 dollors can get this game and have limitless fun with it, and you dont have to worry about lag cus i mean it isent battlefield but it may be just as fun so but this game into consideration the next time you have a 20 dollor bill in your possession or a total amount of 17 bucks and thats about it get this game!!!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 4
Well it is a great game in many ways, it also lacks in many ways.
It's a lot of fun to escape in different ways each time, but there is one MAJOR problem:
Guards can detect you trying to escape in ways they would never be able to IRL, but on the other hand you can get away with methods that would never work IRL either.
Guards announce a cell search during role call? Run off to your cell while they talk and fit your pickaxe, shovel, guard uniform, and cell key in your pockets!
Well this review probably is harsh, I am giving the benefit of the doubt that these sorts of things will improve over time. That, and as I said before, the replayablity makes it worth the cons (pun intended.)
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 28
An Amazing Game i reccomend it to anyone out there who likes a challenge.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
615 of 634 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.6 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.
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1,358 of 1,555 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
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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511 of 583 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.4 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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316 of 351 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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238 of 255 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
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719 of 852 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
Early Access Review
Needs Multiplayer for more Fun!
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181 of 188 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person 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.
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