Breakout 13 to be released on January 9th

Breakout 13 teaser
Jack Allin

Written by Jack Allin

December 22, 2022

Demo available for choice-driven interactive movie based on controversial true stories in China


Are video games bad for kids, a destructive force insidiously corrupting the minds of today’s youths? We all know the answer to that is no (at least, not our kinds of video games!), but the question is explored in a much more horrifying fashion in Breakout 13, the upcoming interactive movie from ALT Lab set inside a Chinese behavioural correction institute for “troubled” teens.

The game is inspired by an actual clinical psychiatrist, the highly controversial Yang Yongxin, who “promoted and practiced questionable electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a cure for alleged Internet addiction in teenagers” and used his platform to “demonize video games and profit from desperate families.” Players control just such a “misguided youth”, a skilled gamer sent to a correctional facility that claims to have “cured and saved countless teens like you.” You soon discover, however, that the hospital’s inhumane treatment methods include “verbal abuse, corporal punishment, confinement, beating, and electrotherapy in Room 13.” You must learn to survive this terrifying ordeal, all while plotting a means of escape in order to expose the “evil deeds” of this wicked place.

Presented in its original Chinese but subtitled in English, Breakout 13 is a live-action interactive movie in which your choices are key to driving the story forward. With over a thousand story branches, eight primary endings and more than a hundred variations of those, players are encouraged to experiment in the ongoing attempt to “investigate in the dark to expose the secrets and conspiracies.” You’ll build many relationships along the way, but you’ll have to decide who is a friend and who might be an enemy. Your decisions will determine “not only your fate, but the future of your friends and this correction institute” as well. And you’ll need to do more than simply make decisions here, as the gameplay also includes “a range of interactive patterns, including QTE, emulated interaction, clue collection, deduction, real-time bugging, multiple-camera surveillance, room escape, and more.”

The full version of Breakout 13 is just around the corner, with a target release date on January 9th, but you can get a first taste right away from the playable demo available now on Steam for Windows and Mac.


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