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Parents' Guide to

AR-K: The Great Escape

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Mature adventure has confusing puzzles, mean characters.

Game Mac , Windows 2015
AR-K: The Great Escape Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Parents say: Not yet rated
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The third chapter in this franchise frustrates and confuses more than it entertains. It stars a young college student named Alicia whose failed ambition to become a police officer has left her angry and bitter. Her resultant attitude means she's snarky, rebellious, and somewhat self-destructive. Doing her best to move on with her life, she's studying journalism in between drunken one-night stands and is trying to forget the mysterious Golden Sphere that ruined her life. As it turns out, the Sphere is not only the key to Alicia's past; it's the key to a much bigger, society-affecting secret. This is certainly a promising idea for an adventure game, but The Great Escape doesn't execute it well. One of the reason is Alicia herself: It's not easy to play snarky but likable, and Alicia doesn't manage it. She's mean, impatient, sneaky, and prone to rationalizing her often selfish, unethical actions.

Without a good hero to root for, it's even harder to deal with The Great Escape's other problem: its frustrating puzzles. They march you around collecting items that don't make sense, then make you doggedly revisit everyone and everything, hoping one of those items works somehow, somewhere. Common sense is blown off for "cleverness," which really boils down to a frustrating collection of contrivances and random triggers that seem to expect players to read the designers' minds. Though the game's nice graphics, voice-overs, and music do their best to overcome the mean-spirited dialogue and nonsensical puzzle design, they just aren't enough. In the end, it's AR-K players who will want to make a great escape.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Mac , Windows
  • Pricing structure: Paid (This is the third chapter in a series, which costs $7.99 by itself. The full game costs $12.99.)
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Gato Salvaje
  • Release date: July 14, 2015
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
  • Last updated: March 7, 2019

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