Dive deep into the minds of the unconscious to save them from themselves in this puzzle thriller from Jusha. Play as psychologist Ye Xiu, who has the unique ability to enter people’s minds to try and get them out of their heads. Solve clever puzzles to advance through spooky rooms to reach the patient. The premise of Hospital Escape is unique, and I really wanted to like it. There was too much holding it back, however.
Xiu starts in the mind of a patient used for tutorial purposes. His name is Jun Hao, and he’s a chief physician at a hospital who’s been acting off since a botched surgery. Xiu emerges in a dimly lit surgical room inside Hao’s head and begins looking for clues on how to help him. Tap around the room to find objects, like keys or a door handle, which will allow Xiu to reach Hao. Some clues are found in pieces and need to be combined to work. A combinable piece has a little green icon next to it and will open a window to combine the objects in. Additionally, there are other clues scattered about that don’t have anything to do with helping the patient. These ‘deformed clues’ are random, blue objects related to the patient. With Hao, it was his name badge, which was found near his mental body.
Find all the deformed clues in a patient’s mind to earn an achievement; a trophy in Xiu’s trophy case. Once he finds his patient, Xiu then must talk them out of staying in their heads. There are positive and negative dialogue options to choose from but pick wisely. A patient’s consciousness must reach a score of 80 or above for Xiu to be successful. From what I could tell, all scores start at 30. In addition to regular dialogue there’s also special dialogue that can be unlocked after finding specific clues relating to the patient. For example, Xiu found a newspaper discussing the malpractice. I recommend finding these items for the unlockable dialogue as they increase consciousness score the most. If you get stuck, tap the Tips button to see what to do next. Tips cost coins which are earned through watching ads or by buying them in the store.
Puzzles & Ads
One thing Hospital Escape does right is the uniqueness of the puzzles. Some are easy to figure out, while others require investigating. For example, one of the simpler puzzles is finding a doorknob in Hao’s room. Tap the key on the radio to unlock the cabinet and move a box out of the way to find half a door handle. Then tap the computer and look at the purple numbers on the screen. After tapping the red device next to it, input the numbers to receive the second half of the handle. Combine the two halves and then place the handle on the door. The more you play, the less obvious clues are going to get, however, so expect a lot of tapping around. Sometimes a puzzle can only be completed after solving a different one. But what the games does right is quickly overshadowed by what it does wrong.
For starters, you must rely on ads exclusively to get coins, especially if you don’t want to spend any money. Tips range in price from one to four coins, but each one ad only gives you one coin. If you don’t watch enough ads and get stuck, you won’t be able to move forward. There are even times when ads pop up at random and don’t do anything other than disrupt you. It would’ve been nice to have some starter coins in the beginning. Not to mention that some of the character dialogue cuts off near the end of a sentence. And there’s no way to scroll to see if there’s more. Additionally, I don’t know if this is just me and my phone, but when playing the game my phone overheated and drained my battery. It was all very inconvenient.
Hospital Escape tries to be a good game but ultimately fails. A unique concept of curing a patient’s consciousness by entering their mind along with solving clever puzzles sounds interesting in theory. However, this title’s reliance on ads among other issues hold it back from being a fully entertaining game.
Is It Hardcore?
Different kinds of puzzles can’t save this title from essentially running on pointless ads. Good in theory, not the best in execution.