Issue 18

Escape Simulator: A Thrilling Experience and Challenging Game, Designed to Escape the Virtual Vacuum

Escape simulator is a first-person view virtual escape room game, perfect for any puzzle lover. Created by developer Pine Studio, it offers three thematic adventures: The Labyrinth of Egypt, Adrift in Space, and Edgewood Manor, each with 5 levels of increasing difficulty. Based on real-life escape rooms, AV Club hailed it as a “near-perfect substitute for the real thing”.The game brings you all the simple joys and thrills of escaping a fake locked room by finding clues, unlocking doors and solving riddles that the pandemic took away right from the comfort of your home. 

Once in a room, you have fifteen minutes to escape the highly interactive and immersive room by moving things around, picking them up and even breaking them. You can continue solving puzzles even after the timer ends, making beating the clock even more of an achievement. The game is full of eureka moments that truly bring you the satisfaction of solving a good riddle and well-designed puzzles. 

The game also has an online co-op mode so you can replicate the feeling of yelling at your friends when a clue gets too frustrating. Lastly, for those who conquer the game, there is an additional editor mode that allows you to create your own rooms as well as play hundreds of community designed rooms so that the adventure never ends. 

Reya Daya is a third-year student, studying psychology and media studies at Ashoka University. Her other interests include writing, photography and music.

We publish all articles under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives license. This means any news organisation, blog, website, newspaper or newsletter can republish our pieces for free, provided they attribute the original source (OpenAxis).

Issue 9

Papers, Please

A critically acclaimed indie game by Lucas Pope, Papers, Please offers a unique insight into the conflicts that arise between national allegiance and morality. 

Players are assigned the role of a border inspector in the fictional nation of Arstotzka – and are tasked with approving the entry of legal citizens of the country, as well as visitors from neighbouring nations with valid visas. 

With each passing day, increasingly stringent rules and regulations are placed upon the player, as the state of affairs between Arstotzka and its neighbours rapidly deteriorates. They encounter a variety of moral quandaries – such as having to decide whether to allow illegal migrants fleeing their home country in fear for their lives, or in search of their long-lost families. To add to the weight of the players’ dilemmas – each time they allow someone into the country incorrectly, their income and their family’s food rations are slashed. Thus, players must make important decisions each day – with their family’s life and their nation’s fate hanging in the balance. 

Papers, Please offers a uniquely accurate insight into modern insider-outsider narratives, the use of calls to ‘nationalism’ for masking State supported oppression, as well as the moral  dilemmas that emerge as a result of the same.

Picture Credits: Steam 

Issue 7

The Beginner’s Guide

Conventional notions of the intentional meaning behind creativity is challenged in The Beginner’s Guide. An interactive, narrative-based game developed and narrated by Davey Wreden, it follows the player exploring a series of short games developed by an individual named Coda. However, it isn’t Coda who introduces the player to their creations, but a narrator, named ‘Wreden’ after the game’s developer, who was once Coda’s close friend. The game follows the tumultuous journey of Coda’s creativity, depicted in the games they built before their sudden disappearance from Wreden’s life. 

Wreden walks the player through a variety of Coda’s games, highlighting signs of Coda’s deteriorating mental health due to doubts about their abilities and dissatisfaction with their ideas through recurring symbols and subtle allusions. Coda’s games provide elusive messages to the player to piece together the cause of their disappearance. The games represent Coda’s creative range and usage of his games as a means of communication with others. Through inescapable prison sequences, endless staircases that becomes progressively difficult to climb, and a cabin in the middle of nowhere that requires repeated cleaning with no sight in end, it becomes apparent that Coda’s games mean more than just creative expression to him. 

Davey Wreden’s games are best experienced without much explanation–they are always more than what they seem. At its core, The Beginner’s Guide effectively makes its players reevaluate what creativity truly entails, and understand the consequences of an insatiable desire for searching for meaning in creative products, even when there isn’t any. 

We publish all articles under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noderivatives license. This means any news organisation, blog, website, newspaper or newsletter can republish our pieces for free, provided they attribute the original source (OpenAxis).