‘Without Escape’ Provides Minimal Horror in a Point-and-Click Nightmare

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Without Escape is a new adventure/horror point-and-click games from Bumpy Trail Games. The game play is very similar to the old point-and-click games like Adventures of Monkey Island, and Day of the Tentacle., but sadly that’s where the similarities end.

Without Escape starts out with you at home alone in the middle of the night, and you have to figure out why you’re experiencing a string of strange events. The game wants to make you think that the strange events are things like spooky noises and bumps in the night, but honestly things I’ve found to be stranger included finding a lock pick shoved in a bathroom faucet, or a key in an oven. I just have to assume that the main character came home drunk and cleaned house before going to bed.

Who hasn’t put their keys in the oven after a 2am tear?

Story aside, let’s talk game play. The mechanics are pretty simple yet the maps feel fragmented and disjointed, and while the transitions are meant to present an air of creepiness, they really just come off as distracting. When moving from room to room, the angles can be a little confusing, and its easy to overlook a room’s location, specifically the living room.

The puzzles in Without Escape are not so much puzzles in the traditional sense, but more like a random scattering of objects with no real logic as to their solution. I did experience one major graphical glitch when transitioning from the real world to the “nightmare” alternate world but eventually the glitch did correct itself. Granted the game is still in beta, but with a release date of April 24th its going to give Bumpy Trail Games very little time to hammer out any existing bugs, or like a lot of indie games on Steam, you can expect a fair amount of patches after release.

The dialog is pretty clunky, and sort of comes across like it was written by someone who’s just not into details or storytelling. In a game like this where the puzzles and the dialog make the story, you really want to make sure both are polished to really help get the story across, and keep it interesting. Maybe the creators felt that too much dialog might make the game drag but when I think back to point-and-click games of the early 90’s, that’s what made them so interesting and worth playing.

Overall, the game needs a lot of polish if it wants to look like it belongs in 2018 and not 1998. If you’re really, REALLY into horror story point-and-click games, then I could see maybe giving this game a spin. Otherwise, I’d have to say this one just might be a hard pass.

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