Escape String – Nintendo Switch Review

1 0
Read Time:4 Minute, 21 Second

From Italy-based developer BumbleBee and US/Thailand-based publisher 7 Raven Studios, today we’ll be taking a look at Escape String, which is available for the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and the Nintendo Switch.

We’ll be covering the Nintendo Switch version, which comes in at £6.29/$6.99 with a download size of 324 MB.

Sometimes to go forward, you need to go back

Set in an undefined time and place, Escape String is a single-player 2D puzzle game, with a twist. The premise is simple enough, you have to help our little mechanical chum traverse his way through 40 levels. Except you don’t control the robot, not really.


You start each level at the left-hand side of a room. As previously mentioned, you don’t have actual control of the robot. Instead, you have to input a “string” of commands and execute them to help Wall-E and EVE’s love child find his way across the room and “escape” (he did it, he said the thing!), avoiding any obstacles in your path.

Screenshot from Escape String showing the robot jumping over an obstacle, after executing the player input
Sparky orbs are no match for our little robot.

The gameplay of Escape String is simple, you use the d-pad to input strings of commands; right to go forward, left to go back, up to jump, down to crouch, and when you’ve entered the string you think will help the robot traverse the room safely, A/ZR to execute the string. You can also go back to previous inputs with Y/L and forward with X/R should you need to make any amendments.

There are 8 different obstacles for you to find your way around. I won’t spoil them all, but my favourite is what I’ve affectionately dubbed the “Pluto-bot”. He’s your evil red doppelganger who will mimic your movements, even to his detriment, much like Pluto from Jordan Peele’s 2019 masterpiece “Us”.

GIF showing the robot executing the inputs, with the evil red robot copying and succumbing to a trap.
Pluto-bot? Pluto-gottem.

There isn’t much in the way of a plot for Escape String, but truth be told, it doesn’t need it. What little plot there is, is delivered every 5 or so levels in the form of a cut scene displaying a single sentence, the payoff of which comes at the end.

Dark cutscene sceen, back ground has a turqoise hue, text reads "come back to me!"
Alright, alright, I’m coming.

I didn’t expect Dark Souls, but I expected more than this.

If I’m being completely honest, Escape String isn’t a particularly challenging game. I managed to get through it in a couple of hours whilst also being on Dad duty. That being said the game is rated E, so it could be a good little brain teaser for some of the younger players out there.

The challenge (for lack of a better word) comes from the secondary objective of each level: don’t go over the string limit (the number of commands in each string) and complete the level in one string. There were only 2 levels in which I wasn’t able to achieve this easily. For completing the objective, you are awarded golden chips, which are used to unlock cosmetics for the little robot.

Graphics and Audio

Escape String looks nice enough, it seems reminiscent of 2008’s Indie-hit “Braid”, but not quite as polished. It feels like the developer used a filter to make it appear hand drawn. The soundtrack and audio design for the game is pleasant, but gets repetitive quite quickly, even within the hour or two it’ll take you to play through it. But they fit with the setting and don’t take anything away from the game. That’s just my two cents anyways.

Overall, it’s not a very demanding game. Your Nintendo Switch won’t struggle to run it, and neither will a PlayStation or Xbox.

Final Thoughts

If you like a challenge in your puzzle games, Escape String probably isn’t the game for you. Portal it most definitely is not. But there is a certain charm to its simplicity and approach to tackling the puzzles. It won’t be a game you play over and over again; and it’s for that reason that I thought the addition of cosmetics was a weird choice, but something you pull out to relax with on a train journey or two? Sure thing, I could see that.

A screen showing some of the cosmetics available. There are 10 in total, 3 of which are locked.
Look at all these different cosmetics you won’t look at until you’ve already finished the game and probably won’t play again after.

I think the £6.29/$6.99 asking price is probably more than I would pay for it. But for the £3.14 sale price at the time of writing – I’d say I definitely had £3 worth of enjoyment from it. I just wish that there was more of a challenge. Has Escape String piqued your interest? Have you already played it? Let us know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

Thumb Culture

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Discord | Podcast

About Author

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

2 thoughts on “Escape String – Nintendo Switch Review

Comments are closed.