The Artful Escape (2021): 9 out of 10: The nephew of a famous folk singer. (Think Bob Dylan but more dead) is about to make his singing debut as the headliner at his late uncle’s annual fan convention, which is the only thing keeping his bucolic Colorado town on the map. But our young singing protagonist has a serious case of imposters syndrome and skips out-of-town traveling across the universe fighting monsters as David Bowie. (At least the way I played him.)
The Good: The Artful Escape is the perfect Game Pass game. Literally. It is a game I would have never found myself playing otherwise, and it is a complete delight. It is short (About four to five hours) and very easy. If I had dropped $20 bucks on it, the length and replayability might be more of an issue. But as an evening or two delight, it is perfect.
People keep talking about how Game Pass has nothing coming out for it because Starfield is delayed till next year. I am planning on buying Starfield but I would never play it on Game Pass (Or Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or Dragon Age Inquisition. etc.) Why play a game that is easily over a hundred hours on a subscription service? Try it out for a few hours, sure. But pay $15 a month just to play Skyrim for six months. That is simply bad math.
It is the smaller games you might never try unless you got them for free that are the special sauce for any gaming subscription service.
The Bad: Everything that is good about The Artful Escape (Doesn’t overstay its welcome and the lack of challenge) is also the thing some might find disappointing. This is a very accessible experience. I found it nice as a change of pace.
The Ugly: Just look at the screen shots. There is nothing ugly about The Artful Escape.
In Conclusion. The Artful Escape not just shoots for the stars, but it pulls off the landing as well (that could have easily gone wrong in so many ways) For a game about following your internal muse it is clear the designers took thier own lesson at heart. An almost perfect small experience and a great introduction to gaming to a newcomer that does not game.