Escape the Titanic is a free puzzle game whose name tells you everything you need to know.
You’re trying to escape the Titanic as it sinks. With the tagline “A Devious Escape Puzzler” you’re pretty much set.
Get in there and start trying not to drown.
By using a situation like the sinking of the Titanic which everybody is pretty familiar with, the game gets away with avoiding a lot of tedious set up and exposition.
When it wants something mechanical to use for a puzzle, it just puts it behind a door marked ‘engine room’.
When it wants some obstacles to put in the way, it just makes them other passengers. As the player we accept it because these are things that we comfortably associate with the Titanic, so we can get straight into playing the game without wanting things explained or justified.
And apart from a short piece of text at the beginning that’s what happens – the game jumps straight into icebergs and puzzles that need solving.
Most of the puzzles follow the same loose structure: you want to get somewhere, but there’s something in your way and you have to figure out a way past it.
Sometimes this involves a test of memory, or of spatial awareness, occasionally even of maths (these are the least fun puzzles).
Sometimes there’s a time limit, and even though it’s just a cartoon image on my phone screen, there’s still something pretty stressful about watching the water rise over your head as you hurry to clear debris from a doorway.
Most of the puzzles are presented to you without a lot of explanation, so there’s a twofold challenge of first figuring out what you’re supposed to do and then how to do it.
Personally I didn’t find any of the puzzles impossibly difficult (not boasting, just saying), but there is enough of a challenge, and enough variety in the type of puzzles, to keep me entertained.
Not the sort of game you’d shut the curtains and settle down with for the afternoon, but a great way to occupy yourself on a bus ride or something.
Like any game I review, Escape the Titanic really only has to pass one crucial test: will I keep it on my phone and keep playing it now that I’ve finished reviewing it? The answer is yes. I’m having fun, and I want to see if I make it off this ship.