2021's Best Game NOBODY Played

The Artful Escape is one of 2021's shiniest hidden gems.

the artful escape
Beethoven & Dinosaur

Developed and conceived by the lead guitarist of an Australian rock band (we're not kidding), The Artful Escape comes at a time where its publisher Annapurna Interactive can do no wrong. A busy 2021 for the company saw them release multiple critically acclaimed titles including the superb Twelve Minutes before The Artful Escape hit digital stores in early September.

An unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign caused the publisher to step in and secure funding, and after an official announcement at E3 in 2017, The journey towards release began.

The Artful Escape Intro
Personal Screenshot

The Artful Escape tells the tale of Francis Vendetti, a wayward teen living in the gorgeous fictional town of Calypso, Colorado. The nephew of the fictional music sensation (clearly inspired by folk icon Bob Dylan), Francis' destiny is predetermined by those around him. As such, Francis struggles to find identity in a world of unrealistic expectations.

Like Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, our protagonist is expected to take to the stage in front of the whole town wielding only an acoustic guitar and a repertoire of regional tunes, but for the talented guitarist, the lure of electricity is too enticing to pass up.

Francis' love of science fiction and expansive, progressive rock means he's far from the Johnson Vendetti prodigy that everyone expects. The locals long for a sequel act to their beloved, and by all accounts the youthfulness and musical talents of Francis means he's restricted by the lofty and lengthy expectations of folk music grandeur.

An unexpected introduction to Violetta followed by a tumble down the cosmic rabbit hole, Francis' adventure from shy, unassuming middle-America teen to prog-rock prodigy begins. Stretching to the reaches of the galaxy, Francis is hotly in pursuit of purpose, while also racking up a collection of lifetime defining rock shows in the process.


Fan of ducks, ice tea and escapism. Spends much of his time persistently saying 'I have so much studying to do' before watching Zoey 101 for the millionth time. Thinks Uncharted 3 is the best one.