When I was a child we didn’t have too many options for portable gaming. When we went on family vacations, my parents usually got us a handful of activity books to keep us occupied. One of the games in these books was the maze. These blocks of intricately snaking tunnels were not so much a challenge to complete, but were time consuming. You would eventually find your way, but would it take 10 mins, or 2 hours.
Dotard’s Escape is the digital great grandchild of these games. You play as a craggy old man who has had the fortune of being let out of his cell. What he was put in there for we are not too sure, but lets assume he was wrongly imprisons. It is up to you to use this advantage to make good his escape before the guards notice and put him back in his cell.
Laid out in front of you is a perfect maze that is computer generated. There is only one way out and the paths do not loop back on each other (or at least I have never seen them) and really the task is just finding the correct path out. This may seem easy, but you are racing against the clock, and the maze is filled with traps that are solely there you slow you down. While each trap is different, they all function the same way and cause you to waste five seconds if you fell for them. Most of the skill in Dortard’s Escape is recognizing an incoming trap, and gauging if you can make it across without it going off.
Once you reach the end you are given a run down of your time and your best time for that difficulty setting. Unfortunately, this screen seems to be the only place you can view your best times. In any case, there are settings for the size, difficulty of the traps, and amount of time you have to complete the maze. You can also adjust the control settings from the default of swiping anywhere to move or a set d-pad.
The game is so easy that the tutorial is hardly necessary. This is the kind of game that you can pick up and play in seconds and can be put down quickly if you are interrupted. Unfortunately Dotard’s Escape feels like it has potential to be better. The traps are nice, but there is no variety in their mechanic and you find yourself in a quick monotony of avoiding them. The lack of score boards could be easily fixed, but it seems like a glaring oversight on the developer’s part. There is a lot of charm in this game, but I feel that it needs much more work before Dotard’s Escape can break free into its own.
We rate this app 2 out of 5 stars.