One Escape is a puzzle-platformer featuring three robbers who come up with a plan to rob a bank. Something goes wrong during the heist and they get caught, are locked up tight in jail, and are now looking for a way out. You need to find the keycards, avoid the guards, and escape the jail while you still can.
You play as the three animal convicts and switch between them as you wish to play their specialised levels. Dook is a duck who can climb through air-ducts, Gor is a gorilla who can climb specific walls, and Hog is a warthog who can punch boxes to move them around to access higher areas. Each character must sneak through the room, avoiding guards and security cameras by hiding in the shadows, and move to the next objective until you finally unlock the path to the exit.
Duck and dodge
While you’re snagging keys and turning off cameras and other tech to move forward, you’ll be doing a lot of travelling back and forth in each room to use a card to activate a door and then on to the next thing. It gets a bit repetitive, but there’s plenty of challenge to keep it interesting.
Sneaking around is a very cut-and-dry process. You approach an obstacle, such as a guard or camera, you wait for them to look the other way, then you press the action button to duck into patches of black on the back wall. You can move while you are back there, albeit slowly, to prime yourself to exit the shadows and continue on your way. It’s a simple mechanic, but it’s charming and I never felt that getting caught was the game’s fault.
Each of the three character’s set of 20 levels progresses in difficulty as you work your way through them, with the complexity really locking in near the end. As the gameplay overall doesn’t employ too much variation, being able to change it up at any time by swapping to an animal when you’re bored with the one you’re currently playing as makes for a dynamic experience that keeps the puzzle-solving fresh. Getting caught right at the end of a level is a bummer, but it’s typically a simple mistake of judgement that you can fix on your next attempt.
Caught up in it all
At the end of the day, there are certainly some improvements that could have been made to the game to make it better. Allowing the three characters to use their skills together to solve a puzzle would have made for some serious brain-ticklers and added a sense of additional progression other than beating one level to go to the next. Some obstacles seem overused and could have been given a bit more time for them to nuance and provide different means of dealing with them.
Sixty levels isn’t a terrible amount, but not horrible for a mobile title. Perfect for small chunks of play or extended play sessions if you want to run through the whole thing in one go, there’s an option for you here. While I didn’t experience anything terribly frustrating, if you’re not a decent platform gamer, you’ll find difficulty with some of the tasks asked of you later on. Bounding from wall to wall as Gor can easily spell your doom if you don’t time your jumps well.
One Escape Final Thoughts
The clean pixel graphics provide a nostalgic look that makes the breakout a treat to experience visually and while the simple themes for each character don’t provide an epic soundtrack, they keep it relatively mellow to match the sneaking gameplay. I felt that the simple graphics made for an easily read level every time I loaded them up. While it could be due to some additional variety, you’re often in and out of a level so fast that you don’t have time to groan about seeing the same prop in six different spots throughout the room.
Likely the best way to play is to give each character a go and figure out what is your favourite. Whether it’s the stealthy duck approach, the airbound ape action, or the Sokoban-style of Hog’s punching play, you can’t help but appreciate the uniqueness of each character’s mechanics. Finding your way out of the jail as these anthropomorphized animals is a fun experience, but pacing yourself might keep you from getting burnt out quickly.