The Artful Escape is a stunningly beautiful narrative adventure developed by Beethoven & Dinosaur and published by Annapurna Interactive. Though it may be light on mechanics and meaningful challenge, the world that it creates through sight and sound kept me completely enraptured for every single step of the five-hour journey.

You play as Francis Vendetti, an aspiring musician living in the shadow of his uncle Johnson Vendetti, who just so happened to be a generational folk-rock icon cut from the same cloth as Bob Dylan. In the midst of your own personal creative rut, you stumble upon a cast of intergalactic rock lords who whisk you away across the vast reaches of space in the name of putting on the biggest concert in the history of the universe.

At one point in the game, the character Lightman, voiced by Carl Weathers, gives this bit of advice to Francis: “An artist’s job isn’t giving people what they want. It’s giving them what they never could’ve even imagined.” If that doesn’t sum up my experience inside this wonderful game, I don’t know what could.

The Artful Escape releases on September 9 on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X and S for $19.99. It’s also available as a part of Xbox Game Pass.

Watch our full Review in 3 Minutes for The Artful Escape.

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