Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Sep 8, 2021
    The Artful Escape is beautiful, sad, compelling and mind-blowing in equal measure. It’s more of a concept album than it is a game and that’s fine, because with so many set-pieces, such well-realised vignettes, and such awe-inspiring talent behind it, you’re more than happy to sit down and take in the journey as your fingers dance on the pad from time to time to keep the game moving forward. You’ve heard of prog rock music before, but this might be the first prog-rock game.
  2. Sep 8, 2021
    This one’s a no-brainer; The Artful Escape is on Xbox Game Pass and you absolutely, positively have no reason to miss it if you’re a subscriber. If you’re not and you enjoy warm fuzzies, either get on board or buy it outright as you won’t be disappointed.
  3. Sep 8, 2021
    The Artful Escape is a bold and beautiful trip through the cosmos, featuring a killer soundtrack and a thrilling space adventure.
  4. Sep 8, 2021
    When Francis played his final set and the credits started rolling, I was quite glad to have played The Artful Escape. It is very clearly Its Own Thing, and not only is that thing pretty awesome, it’s just one more example that videogames are able to deliver a huge array of experiences that are all worthwhile in their own way. I love that Beethoven & Dinosaur brought their vision to my screen, and if nothing else, maybe this rock-fueled journey through the stars will get developers off of movies and on to music videos for a while.
  5. Sep 8, 2021
    Annapurna Interactive has a staggering back catalogue, but 2021 has frankly not been great for the publisher. Last Stop failed to leave any kind of impact, Maquette is a game with Bryce Dallas Howard in it and not much else, and Twelve Minutes, despite being loaded with star-power, wastes its time loop mechanic in service of a ridiculous twist ending that derails the entire game. With The Artful Escape, plus Neon White, Stray, and Solar Ash to come in the near future, it feels like Annapurna is back.
  6. Sep 8, 2021
    The Artful Escape is a brash, bold and beautiful musical journey with a simplistic gameplay hook and all the interdimensional jellyfish deities you can shake a quantum-powered space guitar at. It's the next-best way to spend an afternoon indoors to dropping acid.
  7. Sep 8, 2021
    This is a moving postcard to the 70s and 80s as far as influence goes -- as if David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Genesis found each other on a moving platform designed by Terry Gilliam rapidly coasting through the far reaches of space, powered entirely by solar sails and positive thought, and decided to jam.
  8. Sep 8, 2021
    The Artful Escape is a beautiful and imaginative trip along the life and aspirations of a young guitarist. Close your eyes for a moment and relax, it will be a special one.
  9. Sep 8, 2021
    The Artful Escape is well worth the wait. An exciting, well-acted feast for the senses, it does not disappoint. There are a couple of technical issues that need to be sorted, but on the whole, games this imaginative and enthralling don't come along very often.
  10. Sep 8, 2021
    The Artful Escape is by turns psychedelic, moving, exultant, and lovely. The central metaphor of a young performer bringing fantastic new worlds into existence through the art of music is a powerful one, and while the theme of a struggling musician finding his authentic voice while paying homage to the past might not be a new one, it’s certainly new to videogames. The Artful Escape only missteps when it tries too hard to be a game, ironic given the story’s premise of search for authenticity. Aside from that, The Artful Escape is a surprising and joyous exploration of the power of collaboration, the struggle for identity, and the mind-blowing, life-altering sound of the very loud galactic symphony.
  11. Sep 15, 2021
    The Artful Escape (previously known as The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti) is an upcoming platform video game being developed by Beethoven & Dinosaur.
  12. Sep 8, 2021
    A must for Xbox Game Pass subscribers, and absolutely recommended for everyone else, The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti tells with irony and intelligence the path of artistic and inner growth of a talented teenage musician. Through the celestial bodies of the Stupefacosm, the protagonist and the player learn together to follow only the rhythm of their electric guitar, among extraordinarily inspired landscapes. Even in the face of a playful sector that does not represent the fulcrum of the work, the only regret remains a rhythm game soul that could have dared more. But in the face of the power of the proposed experience, we consider it a slight observation that we hope will be heard in a desirable second journey into the Stupefacosm.
  13. 85
    The Artful Escape, aided by its ultra-accessible mechanics, is more of a visual journey. As an escape into Francis’ preoccupation, it does make sense for there to be no real challenge. He’s intentionally a Gary Stu in the story he’s weaving for himself and, because of the simplicity, The Artful Escape disarms the player with incomparable visuals, a terrific soundtrack, and a focus on themes like public image and the overlap of fantasy and reality. It’s not interactively demanding and variety is scarce, but at around four hours, it’s an afternoon well spent to vitalise the body and soul.
  14. Sep 8, 2021
    Like its protagonist, The Artful Escape leans into its unique identity and comes out the better for it. The game is breathtakingly beautiful, rich in music, and makes you feel like an intergalactic rock star while examining some thoughtful, relatable fears.
  15. Sep 8, 2021
    The Artful Escape is a game with a brave narrative, an original and unique artistic view, and excellent choice of voice casting and soundtrack. Even with some flaws, it's a must-have game.
  16. Sep 10, 2021
    The Artful Escape is a hard to define game. Light platform and rhythm’n’game elements are diluted inside a narrative driven gameplay that tasks the player with life and artistic choices. While the gameplay is bent to the main thematic of the game, visual and music take the mind of the player through an epic, psychedelic journey in a rock, sci-fi, over the top space opera.
  17. Oct 2, 2021
    The Artful Escape is, Galvatron has said, a 17-year-old’s conception of what it is to play in a rock band: musical transcendence meets universal adoration beneath the hot lights. But behind the shimmer, this is a touching tale of how to break free of the creative expectations of others. There is little traditional challenge here, but as a left-field power fantasy, few video games are so immediately stylish or so gratifying.
  18. Oct 1, 2021
    The Artful Escape is an enigmatic coming of age story, wrapped in reverb-laden riffs and space opera shenanigans. It is quite unique, and absolutely unmissable.
  19. Sep 24, 2021
    The Artful Escape is a wonderful audiovisual experience with a lot of great moments and a intense story. If you like this types of games, you should try it.
  20. Sep 13, 2021
    The Artful Escape certainly won’t tick all the boxes for everyone that comes through. It’s an abstract title that isn’t afraid to go against the grain in every capacity. From the visuals down to the actual mechanics, it’s unlike anything else on the market. But for that exact reason, it’s absolutely an experience worth your time. Creativity to this degree is rare in the modern gaming industry and therefore, The Artful Escape shouldn’t go amiss.
  21. Sep 13, 2021
    The Artful Escape is an unforgettable psychedelic journey. Its short length helps its simple mechanics stay fresh so you can focus on Francis’ journey and its stunning visuals. Perhaps fully embracing the medium could have made this something even more special, but it’s an experience all its own, and that’s okay. Much like the game tries to teach Francis, sometimes you can just have to be what you are.
  22. Sep 9, 2021
    The Artful Escape may not have particularly deep or challenging gameplay, but the main reason to attend this show is its incredible writing and Francis’ trippy, out-of-this-world journey in discovering his new persona, one which features a lot of nifty twists in various ways, alongside truly striking sci-fi visuals and an expertly-crafted soundtrack. The Artful Escape is an astonishing rock and roll epic that the likes of Ziggy Stardust would be proud of.
  23. Sep 9, 2021
    A tour de force of light and sound, The Artful Escape is unlike anything else you’ve played. With no easy genre label to stick on the game, the only way you’ll know if you’re going to enjoy it is to try it. It’s a trip alright, one that will have your foot tapping and your head rocking from start to finish.
  24. Sep 8, 2021
    It's also worth mentioning there are some substantial performance issues. The frame rate dropped considerably fairly often, pulling us out of its gorgeous world. There were also a few occasions where dialogue on the screen was not voiced, which felt very odd. However, these issues aside, The Artful Escape is absolutely an adventure worth taking. It contains some magical moments, an engaging narrative and the best soundtrack in a game all year. It doesn't always hit the mark, but when it does, it smashes it out of the park.
  25. Sep 8, 2021
    A cosmic rock voyage of self-discovery that doesn't folk about, The Artful Escape is a truly unique experience and a feast for the senses. Those looking for a challenge or who are deathly allergic to guitars will probably want to look elsewhere for their next game. But given what an unusual and aesthetically captivating experience it is — and the fact that it's right there on Game Pass — it couldn't be easier for me to recommend. It'll likely prove a little too strange for some people's tastes, but if you don't enjoy it, it's still a quick (and hopefully at least interesting) 1,000G boost in five hours or so from a game you likely won't remember playing this time next year. But if you do end up enjoying it, and I think a lot of folks will, there's a very real chance it could end up being five hours you'll never forget.
  26. Sep 8, 2021
    Though it's a relatively short and easy game, The Artful Escape is also a charming, witty spectacle from start to finish in its six or so hours of playtime. I loved Francis' story and the far-away lands he visits on his quest to believe in himself and write his own future. I can foresee some players scoffing at the entire project for its particular brand of humor, but expect it will be adored by drama kids, garage rockers, and general outcasts all over. The Artful Escape plays like a psychedelic jam band session and tells a story like someone spiked Wes Anderson's Darjeeling tea.
  27. Oct 13, 2021
    The Artful Escape is a great visual-novel and a rock and roll dream. It is one of the best looking games I’ve played with an equally interesting narrative. However, the severe lack of interactiveness really drags down the game.
  28. Sep 9, 2021
    Highly contemplative, utterly eccentric and absolutely magnificent, The Artful Escape offers a visual and sound experience that is as puzzling as it is thrilling. But the beauty of the abstract can reach its limits when the nonsense ends up losing us. And the journey sometimes runs out of steam when the gameplay remains on its way. However, the journey remains relatively captivating up and down, both for its beauty and its uniqueness. But there is no doubt that it will be divisive.
  29. Sep 14, 2021
    The Artful Escape is a joyous intergalactic trip with an electric guitar and vibrant visuals. Like a good solo, if you get swept up in the experience, you'll forget all about its flaws.
  30. Edge Magazine
    Oct 9, 2021
    For players who find themselves similarly unsure of their own identities, it could well resonate long after the amps and stage lights have been switched off. [Issue#364, p.116]
  31. Sep 19, 2021
    The Artful Escape is a wonderful four-hour musical performance with some epic guitar solos and an incredible visuals.
  32. Sep 13, 2021
    The Artful Escape feels like a novel written by a musician, and takes the music and electric guitar fans to a beautiful but not so perfect journey.
  33. CD-Action
    Jan 19, 2022
    The idea behind The Artful Escape is great, the art style is breathtaking, while the story about coming of age, teenage insecurities and meeting expectations is told brilliantly. Unfortunately, all that doesn’t count for much when a music game has an awful score, guitar shredding quickly becomes boring and the whole thing is basic to a fault. [12/2021, p.77]
  34. Sep 8, 2021
    The lack of challenge in The Artful Escape, not just in its play but in its emotional texture, somewhat shreds the odyssey.
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  1. Dec 14, 2021
    Ultimately you're watching a performance as much as giving one, and for a game this sly and playful, I can live with that. This is a rush, a conceit, a virtuoso doodle. It's a gas. It's a lark. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  2. Sep 10, 2021
    The Artful Escape began as a fantasy of what a teenage Johnny Galvatron thought the rockstar life could look like. Instead, it serves as a psychedelic reminder. Francis needs some help from flying turtles and transdimensional brainstems, but eventually he gains freedom from his Bob Dylan-esque uncle through his own intergalactic persona. And while we can’t all just step into the cosmos to escape our troubles, one way or another, we all need to be ourselves someday, free of shadow.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 77
  2. Negative: 10 out of 77
  1. Sep 15, 2021
    I can hardly call it a game.You go left and right,sometimes jump and if you hold x,something moves in the background,but there isn't anyI can hardly call it a game.You go left and right,sometimes jump and if you hold x,something moves in the background,but there isn't any challenge.At the end of each level there is a boss battle,but you just have to press the glowing buttons.
    I think the creators didn't have any concept and they simply made the game colorful to sell it.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 18, 2021
    By now, we're all too familiar with the Annapurna Interactive artsy (borderline pretentious) games, so it won't come up as a surprise when IBy now, we're all too familiar with the Annapurna Interactive artsy (borderline pretentious) games, so it won't come up as a surprise when I tell you "The Artful Escape" follows the usual script : almost no gameplay at all, close to no plot, no challenge and great attention paid to artistic direction. Basically, it's some sort of 5 hours interactive visual experience. Maybe it's your thing, but as for every other Annapurna games, it's unfortunately not mine. Full Review »
  3. Nov 8, 2021
    The Artful escape
    The power of music!
    The artful escape is a linear nearl 4 hour long narrative adventure, you’re the nephew of a legendary
    The Artful escape
    The power of music!
    The artful escape is a linear nearl 4 hour long narrative adventure, you’re the nephew of a legendary musician trying to find yourself, and a night before a big gig youre abducted by aliens..
    This is a game about finding yourself as an artist.. youll go through these beautiful locations just rifting on your guitar, eventually getting to a boss battle that will have you playing a simon says like mini game.. then its off to the next area..
    This game is again beautiful, I was so impressed with the visuls nd I loved sliding down hills and the platforming here, the story however I was kinda bored of after a while, wasn’t one that really clicked with me so I didn’t care how it turned out all that much..
    But I still had this eautiful world to pull me through..
    Gameplay wise this was my favorite aspect, it was fun putting on a little rock show for these aliens before sliding through some caves.. but if this doesn’t sound like a story that intrigues you, the gameplay isn’t enough on its own to justify a playthrough..
    Overall The Artful escape is a good game..
    Not one Ill think about much going forward, but at the same time has the potential to be one of someone elses favorite games of the year,
    I give The Artful Escape
    a 7/10
    Full Review »