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Video Game: Exit

"Somebody help me!"
Many, many ladies in Exit.

Exit is a puzzle game with some platforming elements published by Taito for the Playstation Portable. You assume the role of Mr. ESC, described in the game as an Escapologist note  who makes a living saving people trapped in apartment buildings, offices, hospitals, etc. The main goal of the game is to get out along with any trapped victims as fast as possible, a task made harder along the way as you will get hindered by earthquakes, floods, fires, electricity, and in some cases, meteor showers.

The puzzle part of the game comes in the form of creating safe paths to the exit for any victims you are saving, by pushing boxes out of the way, extinguishing fires, shutting off water pipes, etc. The twist being that the very same people you are saving can help you in such tasksnote , and managing their respective strengths and shortcomings is key to gameplay.

The game got many mixed reviews with reviewers praising both its clever puzzles and the animated and colorful art style, thanks to its cartoony nature, but at the same time citing awkward controls and some trial and error gameplay on the later levels.

Exit was first released in Japan on December 15 2005, the North American release was on February 14 2006, followed by Europe on March 31 2006. It was also released on October 24 2007, on the Xbox Live Arcade. The sequel, Exit 2, was released on September of 2006 on Japan, and in March of 2007 in Europe; it would not see an American release until the Xbox Live Arcade version in February of 2009.

There's also a version of Exit for the DS that was released in Japan in January of 2008.

Not to be confused with the game show of the same name.


This game contains the following tropes:

  • Blatant Item Placement
  • Downloadable Content: The original has 110 downloadable levels, although 10 of them are the first Situation's levels with a very strict time limit and minimum time requirements for getting 100 points.
  • Dramatic Dangling: That red tie you see on the cover sways and moves as you walk/run/fall etc.
  • Escort Mission: ... the game! Except it's not - the devs built this puzzle/platformer out of a loathed game element and turned it into an actually likable experience.
  • The Forties: despite the game looking like it's set in modern times, most of the victims you rescue seem to wearing clothing of the forties, with kids and adult men wearing waistcoats or vest with berets as well as women wearing both close fitting dresses with shoulder pads with both top hats and widebrim hats.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Those aliens/robots in the final situation of the original game? Good luck trying to come up with a consistent strategy, as it seems as if the initial placement and movements of those obstacles are randomized. The only things guaranteed about their behavior are the facts that they will always start off facing in a certain direction and will attack you on sight. At least they always start off in the same general area...
    • In the final situation, particularly level 10-4, are teleporter mazes. Elaborated on below under Trial-and-Error Gameplay.
  • Mini-Game Credits: The credits themselves (which is located within the options menu), is actually its own very long stage that the player can die in. While it plays like a normal stage and has many of the puzzle elements seen within every Situation of the game itself, the path to the end is linear and requires little skill to traverse.
  • Nice Hat: Mr. Esc, as pictured on the box art above, wears a fedora and every companion has something on their head, although some of the Young Males are wearing headbands and the Adult Females typically wear bandannas. Aside from Mr. Esc's tie/scarf, the only color on any of the characters' bodies is what's on their heads.
  • The Rival: Jet, a rival escapologist who wears a jetpack, only appears when you run out of time or one of the victims meets its doom.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Mr ESC himself.
  • Speech Bubbles: even though the game has voice acting, all characters use speech bubbles to talk as well.
  • Timed Mission: Levels in the game always have a timer going down the moment you start. If the time runs out, Game Over.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Three instances, at least in the first PSP game:
    • Some levels have blackouts at predetermined points (usually near the start), so unless the player surveys what's to come ahead of time or already knows ahead of time, they could find themselves struggling in the dark until they find flashlight or, preferably, a light switch. A huge problem with surveying the level beforehand is that the player is only allowed to navigate the camera up to a certain distance away from themselves, forcing them to move to to get a better view of the level. On top of that, the map lacks certain details, making something like this often necessary. An entire Situation is based around the lights being off from the very start in most of the levels.
    • Earthquakes also happen at predetermined points. When earthquakes happen, parts of the stage become weaker or collapse, and this could mean many things depending on what the player is attempting to do at the moment. The only way to not get completely screwed over is to know where in the levels the earthquakes occur.
    • A few of the levels of the last Situation, specifically level 10-4, are mazes with a lot of identical rooms and dead ends, some of which send the player back to the start. Some of these mazes also only allow the player to progress by going back exactly the way they came. Going back the way they came in some cases, however, will just send the player back to the room they came from, with others sending players back to specific rooms or even the very beginning of the maze.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: There are many instances where Mr. Escape can lead characters to their deaths... and to his own.
  • Videogame Settings
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