Curate of Curiosities

Lisa: The Shameless

Escape From Detroit

The last time I covered an RPG Maker game, I pointed out that, although a lot of games made with this engine look and play identically, there are still a few that stand out. I specifically mentioned Lisa: The Painful, the post-apocalyptic RPG where a drug addict goes on a murderous rampage on a quest to save his adopted daughter.

It was successful enough to spawn not only a direct sequel, but a number of fangames, most notably Lisa: The Hopeful and Lisa: The Pointless, with the latter even receiving its own fangame in turn. In some respects, all three of them manage to surpass the original game.

Of course, as with all successful properties, not all attempts at imitating it will have such high quality.

Enter Escape From Detroit.

From its GameJolt description:

This is a game where survival is key, everyone you talk to has an impact on you whether you know it or not. You are trying to Find Gilbert so he can help you and your son (son mostly)to survive. some people hate you, others don't care but you have to survive to find the truth. This game was made with the inspiration of Pokemon, Final Fantasy, and Lisa. As well as Escape from LA the inside of the city will be filled with crazies, and amazing quests. this is a somewhat parody game as well as an emotional binding to deal with depression. when your sad you try to make yourself happy to forget the bad things, this my definition for this game.

Run-on sentences: always the sign of a quality product!

Look at the screenshots available on the game's download page (which are from a version of the game that has yet to come out, as of this writing). Then, look at some screenshots from Lisa's Steam page. Notice any similarities?

Hell, just look at the font used for the title screen menu above!

It's exactly the same font used in Lisa!

Obviously, it wasn't long before people took notice of this game's shamelessly ripping off one of the most polished indie RPGs out there. Incidentally, it's what also drew me to this game in the first place.

So, to exactly what extent does Escape from Detroit rip off Lisa? How many corners did it cut in the process of doing so? How much of the game did the dev manage to finish before inevitably losing interest?


  1. Escape from the Spellchecker
  2. Cruise Ship to Nowhere
  3. Final Words