Pro Good balance of game systems make for a rewarding simulation
Taking action in the game uses up your stamina, so you'll still have to make time for things like eating and sleeping if you want to have energy for things like digging through walls, fighting other inmates, or cutting through vents and gates.
Items such as shovels and cutters have limited durability, so they can't be used endlessly. Raw materials can be found around the prison to craft items, or you can buy items from fences using money earned by running fetch quests for other inmates. No matter how you acquire them, crafting materials and finished goods are limited so you'll have to use your items wisely.
Time is an important factor that has to be managed too, with certain activities having to be done at certain times. This limits the amount of time you have to roam the prison, since you have to show up for meal times and roll calls. Free time can be used to craft, roam the prison to determine the guard patterns, or finally put your ultimate escape plan into action.
Juggling each and every one of the various aspects of the game results in a very deep and rewarding simulation experience.
Pro A couple of alternative prisons add a change of scenery
Tired of bricks, cold floors, and cement cells? For those who want a change of scenery, there is a prison set in the wild west, and even a futuristic space prison. This adds a little bit of variety to the look of the game while keeping the same gameplay mechanics. It's a nice touch and gives your eyes a break from staring at the same tilesets over and over.
Pro Co-Op multiplayer mode adds a new depth to gameplay
Working together creates a whole new experience with loads of possibilities. In co-op mode, you play with up to 3 teammates either online or locally as you work towards escaping the prison together. This adds a whole new dynamic to gameplay as working together creates experiences that just aren't possible when playing solo. Someone could distract the guards, while another searches rooms for crafting materials. One player could run around collecting items, while another scopes out the guard's patrol patterns. Some can complete quests to collect money while others are working on digging tunnels.
Pro Lots of replayability
No two games will play out alike. Each prison is an open sandbox, so it's definitely not a linear experience with a defined escape blueprint. Prisons can be replayed over and over to beat your previous time, measured in how many in-game days it took you to escape, which leaves plenty of room for trying new things on each successive playthrough.
Pro Great pixel art style for retro fans
If you enjoy a more retro style, then this game is pure eye candy. Simple but charming, the pixel art is colorful, with the sprites having a nice variety in animations when they're shoveling, searching, running around, fighting, or partaking in any kind of activity that would require movement. The tile sets for the game world are nicely detailed, colored and shaded. You won't get tired of looking at the same tiles over and over due to the sheer amount and variety of the art assets created for the game.
Pro Encourages experimentation and creativity
There is no right or wrong way to do anything, and it's entirely a risk vs reward scenario for anything you want to try. You are only limited by your creativity in escaping, as each prison has almost endless possibilities and encourages the player to make the best use of their inventory and be creative in handling every situation.
Bed sheets can be used to cover cell windows from the prying eyes of guards, desks can be moved to reach out of reach vents, crafted tools can be used for various purposes such as breaking through walls or doors, and shovels can be used to dig holes. You can try to sneak around guards, or opt to hide in vents until they're out of sight. If you're feeling especially brave, you can even attempt to fight the guards and take their keys allowing easier access around the prison.
Pro Solid progression of difficulty
The difficulty increases as you progress, with each prison becoming just a little more intricate and more challenging to escape from than the previous. The prisons themselves get more complex with more obstacles to overcome such as tougher guards which results in more ways things can go wrong. The progress feels good and natural, as you're always building on what you learned in previous prisons to escape from the newest one.
Con Getting caught by guards can be overly punishing
It's frustrating when you spend several hours grinding quests for other inmates, collecting items, crafting, and carefully planning your escape, only to get caught by guards and lose all your items or killed. This effectively means you have to start over, wasting hours of your own time and days of in-game time.