The Artful Escape is one of those games which blew people away with its trailer – and for good reason. This title pulls no punches with its style, creating an intense ride for players. But what is it actually about? The story centers around protagonist Francis. He’s a teenager who loves playing guitar and is also darn good at it. This just makes sense given that his father was a famed folk musician. Unfortunately, due to fame by association, everyone has their own expectations of what kind of musician Francis is set to become.
With so much chatter coming from every angle, it’s nearly impossible for Francis to conceive of his musical stage persona freely. Thus begins a colorful sci-fi journey to uncover this for himself and show the world during a debut performance. It’s not a quiet, subdued journey. No, this is a rocking 2D adventure filled with lasers, an epic score and tons of fantastical creatures. Anyone looking for a music game that isn’t reliant on rhythm will find The Artful Escape meets their needs completely.
Some might find the concept of a music game without rhythm focus initially confusing. After all, we’re all familiar with the likes of Rock Band or Dance Dance Revolution. The difference between those types of games and this one is that you don’t need a sense of rhythm to play along. Primarily the game is split into 2D platforming elements and a Simon-styled minigame. The platforming is simple enough and often yields fun scenes where you blast into the air due to awesome guitar playing. On the other hand, the minigame is a bit like the climactic alien encounter in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Players must match the musical tones of an alien in a sort of intergalactic jam session.
Music is the lifeblood that powers The Artful Escape. Every moment feels electric with the distinctive, psychedelic visuals meshing perfectly with the rocking soundtrack. As you platform throughout the environment, objects react as if they’re celebrating your journey. There’s no doubt that players will want to nab a copy of this soundtrack for listening on its own after completing the game. The best thing about how everything meshes together is that it really involves you in the world and Francis’ experiences.
Oftentimes, games fail to capture players due to falling short with creativity. That’s far from the case with The Artful Escape. From the few creatures seen thus far, each stands out as something completely alien. As such, it’s entirely awesome to see them and listen to what they have to say. Listening to the sweet music emanating from them and the world also does wonders for keeping players hyped to see more.
The Artful Escape is certainly artistic, but not in a pompous or reserved way. Instead it fires on all cylinders, leaving players with a sense of power and excitement fueled by music. No release date has been announced just yet but hopefully one crops up soon. Expect to see the game launch on PC and Xbox One whenever it does make its debut.