“The Artful Escape” has simple gameplay but addresses mature topics

Plank Article Rowan Craig '23

“The Artful Escape” is a new indie game on the market that tackles the ideas of finding identity and the creative process in a new and exciting way. Although the game had its fair share of troubles in trying to get off the ground, it was finally released on Sept. 9,  2021.

The idea for the game was conceived and created by Johnny Galvatron, one of the founding members of the Australian rock band The Galvatrons. 

After touring with the band for 10 years, the band went on hiatus which allowed Galvatron to focus on the game’s development. During this time, Galvatron formed the game studio Beethoven and Dinosaur to develop the game. 

After many delays and problems with funding, the game was finally released and it has not disappointed. The game’s story, artstyle, and music are all first class making the experience of playing the game truly wonderful.

The game starts in the fictional Colorado town of Calypso. The story follows the character Francis Vendetti, the nephew of the legendary folk singer Johnson Vendetti. Francis feels pressured by everyone around him to also become a famous folk singer and essentially replace his uncle, the only problem is that Francis doesn’t enjoy playing folk music.

The story follows Francis’s bizarre adventure across the universe interacting with new and increasingly strange characters in order to find himself, and break free from the mold that the people around him have put him in since he was a child.

Despite the game’s simple and somewhat silly plot, the game manages to tackle very mature themes such as self sabotage, imposter syndrome, feeling trapped in a lifestyle, fear of trying, fear of succeeding, rebirth, and death of ego. The game deals with these themes in a very careful and sophisticated way, and it does a very good job of making sure these themes are present within the game without losing the game’s fun and exciting atmosphere.

The game’s visual art style is very unique and is absolutely breathtaking, the best way to describe the artstyle would be a mix of space opera and psychedelic themes. 

This imagery creates an unmatched atmosphere for the game’s other aspects to grow and flourish. Not only are the games visuals and artstyle well rounded, but they are also a visual spectacle and make this game one of the prettiest releases this year.

Another amazing feature of “The Artful Escape” is the music. It is absolutely incredible and elevates the game. The tracks that play in the background are amazing, and they seem to fit perfectly into the game’s surroundings and atmosphere.

The different guitar riffs that you can make Francis’s character play while traveling around makes the game an absolute joy to play and fit perfectly into every aspect of the game and seem to almost breathe life into his surroundings.

The game’s gameplay is pretty simple and often relies on the game’s visuals, music, and story to make the experience enjoyable. If you like story heavy artistic games or you’re just looking to try something new, I highly recommend you play “The Artful Escape.”