This past weekend, indie game developers came to California from all over the world to participate in IndieCade. The festival was a celebration of ideas, from games created in literal minutes to whimsical throwbacks that will soon be on our phones. Among these was a game released in 2019 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Yes, the OG NES got a brand new game during the era of Switch.
The game is called NEScape!, and it's what the name implies: an escape room rendered in the graphics of the NES. As to why developer KHAN games decided to release an NES game decades after the console's run, it's just what they do. The developer has a history with developing for the format. Now, after a successful Kickstarter for NEScape!, they're also in the game of mass producing new NES titles on the original physical cartridges.
According to KHAN games, NEScape! was designed to be a very challenging game. It features puzzles of all types from logic-based brain teasers to auditory challenges. And like a traditional escape room, you're on an hour timer. Due to this, the game doesn't feature a save system of any kind. If you mean to beat it, you'll have to do it in one go.
Fortunately for all of us citizens of the 21st century, NEScape! is not entirely locked in the past. The physical cartridge works with modern retro systems so that you can play it on HD televisions rather than having to dig out the old NES and appropriate cables. Or you can get the game's digital version and play on your emulator of choice. Rest assured, the game isn't really upscaled in any way. The music, design, and programming is still fit for classic NES gaming.
You can find NEScape! on the Khan Games store for only $10 as an NES ROM file. If you want the actual physical version, box and manual and all, it will run you $56. That's still pretty good, as it's not much more expensive than most high-end actual escape rooms. Invite some friends over, order a pizza, and enjoy the thrills of escape rooms and retro gaming in one!