area 86 xbox

As a fan of escape rooms, it’s been befuddling that they haven’t surfaced in video games more. The joy’s in the detail with an escape room – you’re searching with a fine toothcomb to get every last clue, then manipulating them all to get out of Dodge. That can be done in a video game, right? Area 86 is an escape room (wahoo!), but not in the way you might think. Rather than the graphic adventure-style we’ve just mentioned, Area 86 is a physics-based puzzler and it launches today on Xbox One.

How’s that work? You take control of a robot escaping a futuristic space station, and you’ll be using your speed and heft to get out of there. Parkour-like, you will be jumping off platforms to break glass, which reveals consoles that open doors, for example – it’s this pattern of platforming and puzzling that work in concert to find you a way out. 

Perhaps most interestingly, there is no one single way of escaping the room. Rather than offer a strict path through the game, you are instead given various physics-based tools and are encouraged to find out what they can do in combination. This might mean that we see some emergent, innovative ways of completing the game, and we’re all for it.

Area 86 is admittedly not a looker, and it’s the first game from newbie outfit SimDevs. While not auspicious, great games have come from more modest beginnings. We’re big enough sci-fi and escape room fans to give it the benefit of the doubt, and you can expect a review from us very soon.

Area 86 is out now on Xbox One and will cost you £8.39. It’s also available on PC via Steam. Go go roboto!

Game Description:

Welcome to Area 86, a physics-based escape room puzzle game. The secret space station AI has gone rogue, and it’s your task to stop it!  You are a fast-moving robot that can also do some stylish parkour tricks. Use the laws of physics to literally push your way through the station! Pick up items, activate switches, destroy the environment around you to escape. If you are looking for an extra challenge – you can also find secret items and clues to what happened.  But there is more! The space station AI has trapped other robots. Save them and form an all-powerful robot squad! Together you are powerful!  Each level has multiple ways to complete it, and it’s up to your imagination on how to escape. Don’t worry if you get stuck – you can always request a hint, just like in any escape room!  Have fun escaping and defeating the rogue AI!

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