GAME REVIEW: Can You Escape NEScape?

Title: NEScape!
Developer: KAHN Games
Publisher: 8 Bit Legit
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Platforms: Switch, Windows, Mac
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Price: $4.99 (Digital only)


In 2019, KAHN Games launched a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of bringing an escape room style game to the NES. In the first 24 hours, they raised $15,000 and over the course of the 30 day campaign they went on to raise $40,000. 

The game was also later released for the Nintendo Switch as well as for Mac and Windows. 

You are in a set of four rooms and they contain interconnected puzzles that you must solve. The clock is ticking. Can you escape?

A note before we move on, I will not spoil any puzzles during this review. I do drop a hint as to one of them but beyond that, I did my best to describe my gameplay experience without spoiling it for you. 



You immediately find yourself in a dark room. A timer ticking down from 60 minutes is displayed on the top right of the screen. 

Task one, obviously, is finding the lights.

From there, it’s up to you to explore. The game doesn’t give you a starting point. It trusts you to figure out what works best for you. 

That said, there are four different levels to play through. You stay in the same set of rooms and while some things slightly change level to level, by the time you hit the last level, you’ll be pretty comfortable with the layout. 


There are a variety of puzzles, which I love. While there isn’t a multiplayer mode, I’d love to play this in a room full of people chiming in. I think different perspectives could elevate this to a new level. 

One very important thing: this game is very exact. You must solve the puzzle exactly right. Even if you walk away with the right answer, but left something slightly out of place, the game will not let you proceed. 

I may have gotten stuck for 10 minutes on one puzzle because of this. 

There’s a mix of audio and visual challenges. Unfortunately, this means this is not a game you can play without sound. But honestly, I did at times hit mute. For me, the background music was a bit overpowering. 

Let me preface this with a note that I am a hair sensitive to noises. And that ended up being part of the problem here. The sound grated on me. Add to it, that the music is very loud and on a very short loop. It was more than I could handle after a few minutes. 

When I knew I had an audio based clue, I would turn the sound back on. 


It’s an 8-bit game in all of its glory. As a fan of Stardew Valley and other modern pixel art games, I loved the feel. It added to the aesthetic of the agame. 

Each room is unique and holds pieces to the puzzle. Seeing them come to life, for example there is a game of Simon Says hidden in there for you (where, I’ll let you figure out), and the way they present that had me grinning. 


NEScape! plays wonderfully. I never had a problem with it pausing, hitching, or stuttering. From start to finish, the game ran wonderfully. It incorporated all of the audio elements in a way where I found it enjoyable in a way I didn’t with the main music. 

Final Score: 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I mainly marked it down by half of a point for the music. I think for the average person it will be okay. But for me it wasn’t. 

I did have a blast playing through. The timer really does add a delightful element to the game. As someone who loves to go to escape rooms with friends, this might be a good alternative to “visit” an escape room with friends who live far away. 

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