This is the Only Level and its sequels did something special in making players repeat the same level over and over again in creative ways. 40xEscape follows that same formula, but instead of a platformer-with-a-twist, it’s more a straight brain teaser. You must open the door time and time again, each time different from the last. It’s interesting enough, but does it match up to the This is the Only Level series?
A good brain teaser (that won’t be winning any beauty contests)
40xEscape has no platforming elements and nothing that really takes it out of its safe zone. There’s a door, the word “ESCAPE”, and buttons. That’s basically it. The buttons change depending on the level, and a few levels have you use other tools to complete the puzzle. It’s not exactly exciting and doesn’t have the same entertainment value that This is the Only Level provides, that much is sure. Even so, the simplistic nature of the layout and puzzles works for it because you spend your time thinking about the solution instead of getting distracted with other tasks.
I can’t really say whether or not 40xEscape was fun or not. The game is entirely based around completing all 40 levels worth of puzzles, so it boils more down to the drive to prove you can do it than having fun. If you like brain teasers, you will probably have fun trying to figure out the answers. If you don’t, there’s nothing that will interest you here. I personally enjoyed the puzzles the game had to offer, but I don’t really know if I had “fun” with it.
My big issue with 40xEscape is that the puzzles don’t really vary much. Most of the puzzles you complete in the first portion of the game teach you how to complete those later on. While the progressive difficulty build up is nice, it suffers from not having enough unique puzzles in the mix. You will find that you come across those that you already know how to complete having done easier versions earlier on. With that said, there is still some challenge to found in some of the less unique levels and those that aren’t simply more difficult copies of levels that came before can be quite the challenge.
It might not be the most unique flash game out there, and it might not be the most difficult puzzle game out there either — but it does its job well. 40xEscape may not be for everyone. I mean, not everyone likes puzzles. But for those who enjoyed the This is the Only Level series, or people who like puzzle games in general, there is something here to enjoy. It doesn’t look the best nor is it the most challenging out there, but it has its place solidly in the middle of the pack.