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Twisty’s Asylum Escapades (PC) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Formats: PC
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
4.0
4/ 10


User Rating
3 total ratings

 

We liked?


  • It's a free game where you play as a homicidal floating brain. What could possibly go wrong?

Not so much?


  • Off-putting presentation and extremely shallow gameplay prevent this game from being the gore-filled romp it wants to be.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Twisty’s Asylum Escapades is a strange mishmash of confusing exploration and clunky, poorly-implemented combat, in a decidedly unique, off-the-wall style. It feels amateurish and thrown-together; but, what the heck, it’s free. If you want to spend a couple of hours playing a weird, slightly unhinged game about a floating killer brain, then download it and have a go.

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Posted February 24, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Twisty’s Asylum Escapades is the very first game made by Twisted Jenius, a two-person creative team, and oh boy, does it show. They’ve wholeheartedly gone down the “strange ideas are always good ideas” road, and have therefore (entirely understandably) produced a game where you play as a floating brain with fangs, whose objective is to escape the asylum in which he has been imprisoned for the good of society, and whose only apparent method of interacting with the world is through biting things. Subtle, this game certainly ain’t – and don’t be fooled by the developer’s wordy explanation on Steam Greenlight: the only thing cerebral about it is the character model of Twisty himself.

The entirety of the game takes place in a three-storey asylum and its grounds, and the greater part of the gameplay involves exploring the convoluted layout of the building, inexplicably collecting the posters on the walls, and occasionally completing quests, all while fighting off various kinds of constantly-respawning enemies. Which sounds great, sure, but the controls feel (perhaps appropriately) floaty and vague, the corridors are samey and maze-like – which is confusing and disorientating to say the least – and the battling is limited to clicking repeatedly while enemies perform the same animations at you until one or the other of you is dead.

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The presentation of the game is decidedly old-fashioned: with low-res, often repeated textures and chunky models, not to mention some of the most hilariously bad cutscenes that I’ve seen in a long time. Visually, it reminds me of the overabundance of terrible mid-90s games whose only merit was that they were now in 3D; and, frankly, Twisty’s gameplay has, if anything, less depth than many of those. The music, clearly intended to be a tongue-in-cheek spoof of horror-style music, is amusing at first, but so repetitive that it starts to grate very quickly. And finally, the story itself and the occasional attempts at ‘wacky’ humour feel bland and nonsensical. The whole impression is of an amateur, messy game; the sort of game that might be made for a laugh as a one-off quick project; which, to be fair, is absolutely what it is. Of course, there are many people who would appreciate the deliberate weirdness and B-movie feel to the game, and I don’t begrudge that in the slightest.

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Indeed, it’s not entirely without its good points, as there are nice touches – like the persistent bloodstains caused by fighting, and the cleaners that wander around mopping them up. There are, at least, a couple of mildly challenging battles later in the game. You certainly can’t fault the game for originality and uniqueness. And, of course, a major plus is that it’s mercifully short. However, aside from the decidedly off-putting style and extremely shallow gameplay, the major problem that I encountered while playing it was the fact that I continually questioned why I was playing it. The weirdness of the story and setting feels forced and artificial; and while the developer claims the game makes a point about how morality is subjective, I honestly never noticed what that point actually was; other than it gives you an excuse to float around a hospital as a disembodied brain while viciously mauling the staff, of course.

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In conclusion, then: Twisty’s Asylum Escapades is a strange mishmash of confusing exploration and clunky, poorly-implemented combat, in a decidedly unique, off-the-wall style. It feels amateurish and thrown-together; but, what the heck, it’s free. If you want to spend a couple of hours playing a weird, slightly unhinged game about a floating killer brain, then you can download it from http://asylumescapades.com/.


David Hathway