Runaway 2: The Dream of the Turtle




Genre:   Adventure

Developer:    Pendulo Studios

Publisher:    Focus Home Interactive

Released:  December 2006

PC Requirements:   Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, Pentium IV 1.6 Ghz / Athlon 1600+, 128 MB RAM (256 MB for Win 2000/XP), 32 MB DirectX 9-compliant video card (min 1024x768 16Bit), DirectX 9-compliant sound card, DirectX 9 or higher (included on disc), 2x DVD-ROM, 2.5 GB free hard drive space

Walkthrough   Walkthrough

Additional Screenshots






by Looney4Labs


From its startling opening scene straight through to its unexpected ending, Pendulo Studio’s much anticipated Runaway 2: The Dream of the Turtle is a keeper. It delivers first-rate cartoon style graphics, lots of over-the-top characters, and wonderful game enhancing music. Its inventory puzzles are whacky enough to be fun and logical enough to prevent hair pulling. The twisting story line dishes out surprises with gusto while showcasing the game’s saucy dialogue.

Runaway 2: features a point-and-click interface and is viewed from the third person perspective. It is available on DVD or by download from the official website, and is not for the small of hard drive. The minimum install is 2.5 gigabytes. Full install is 5.7 gigabytes. It is copy protected and needs no patching.

Bucking the current trend, Runaway 2 comes with a thorough and engaging paper manual. The manual’s humor and art invited me into the game before I loaded it.

Story: “I’d love to catch some rays, but this is no time to get a tan.” Brian

The story begins as our hero, Brian, shares the experiences of one ill-fated day with his friend Sushi.

Brian and his girlfriend, Gina, have been enjoying an idyllic life in Hawaii. Gina arranges a day trip to Tiki Falls on nearby (but inexplicably difficult to reach) Mala island. Things do not go smoothly. In the heart stopping introductory video, Brian pushes Gina from the plane as she begs him not to. Gina floats through the skies only to sink unconscious beneath the azure waters of an unnamed lake. Meanwhile, Brian’s plane crashes in the jungle.

Brian must rescue his lady love. Naturally, this will not be an easy or straightforward task. It can only be accomplished by quick thinking, the ability to use what is at hand, and the help of a few old friends.

Game play: “Hurrying is for the weak of bladder and bad burglars.” Kai

This is a pure adventure game requiring no “twitch reflexes.” You cannot die. Mostly you’ll wander around trying to get Brian out of the scrapes he’s gotten himself into. This involves a great deal of interaction with non-player characters (NPCs). You must pay attention, both to your environment and to the dialogue – and you should be prepared to engage in some original thinking. While you will be required to do some “to and fro,” the goods you need will be fairly close at hand. There are no red herrings, and Brian discards any extraneous inventory at the end of each chapter.

The game is divided into six chapters, which can be replayed at will from the options menu. Beautiful video sequences play often and may provide important clues.

When you finish the game, be sure to watch the credits roll for a sneak preview of coming attractions.

Characters: “This old bird’s wings are still aflapping.” Otto

The cast of characters is large, though never dull. Some of the personalities are caricatures, and in this game, that works.

Brian is aided in his quest by a few old friends from Runaway 1: well-heeled techno geek Sushi; Saturn, an inventor extraordinaire; laid-back and eco-friendly Rutger; and Joshua, who believes he is in telepathic contact with aliens.

In addition, Runaway 2 introduces its own lengthy list of quirky souls. These cartoon characters are diverse and full of pizzazz. Beautiful, shapely Lokelani, the island bartender, is the girl of every guy’s dreams. Otto, the ancient, creaking pilot is every passenger’s nightmare. Square-jawed Colonel Kordsmeier is eager to fight. Deadly Tarantula is as ruthless as she is beautiful. Barrel-chested Captain Malatunez is strong and deadly. And that’s just for starters.

Many individuals have disproportionate or unusual features. Both Joshua and Rutger sport large, misshapen heads. Most of the women are well-endowed. Brian, our hero, has square eyes. In spite of (or maybe because of) the exaggerated features, this cast is fun to meet. Not all the NPCs are human, which adds to the charm.

Be warned that one character’s attire is a bit suggestive at times. In addition, Gina is briefly seen nude from the back (waist up), and from the front, though the frontal nudity has strategic blackouts.

Dialogue: “I’ll nonchalantly slip it into my pocket. Well, not too nonchalantly or I may inadvertently saw a branch off the family tree.” Brian

Runaway 2 contains a large amount of consistently amusing, facetious dialogue. Brian has an opinion on everything, from the appearance of NPCs to his opinion of your latest instructions.  

Sometimes his comments are just witticisms or refusals. Occasionally his comments are a roadmap to what you need to do next. Brian interacts with the NPCs via dialogue trees. You can listen to all the choices (as I did) or zero in on the necessary ones (if you can). His frequent asides made me feel as if I were helping a friend, albeit a very goofy one.

The NPCs are talkative, and some cut scenes feature lengthy exchanges. Keep alert for the many references to pop culture found throughout the game.

It’s a big cast, but each voice is just right for that personality. The pirate Malatunez is deep-voiced and menacing. Joshua’s edgy personality is brought to life by his high and frenetic voice. Lokelani’s voice is seductive. Brian’s voice is pleasant and easy on the ear, portraying an affable, if cheeky, young man.

Puzzles: “What the heck. This isn’t the first time I’ve taken something without knowing what I wanted it for.” Brian

Brian has an incredible ability to accept challenges for which he is ill prepared. Luckily, he is good at using his wits and whatever is lying around to get out of these situations.

The puzzles are predominately inventory based, and sometimes you need to combine objects. Combining inventory items is easily done by dragging one object to the other in the inventory screen. The catch is that every now and again, it must be done in a certain order if you are to be successful.

I had a small problem with the brown background of the inventory screen. Brown articles tended to “disappear” into the background. 

For variety, there are a scattering of easily worked-out logic puzzles. You’ll need to listen closely to a conversation or two for one unique puzzle.

Though there are a few whacky puzzles, most made sense in a cartoon adventure game kind of way. Even the ones that stumped me had solutions that I could “see” once I got a hint.

There are no sound puzzles, no mazes, no puzzles requiring color discrimination, and no timed bits. You’ll not find any sliders or mini-games.

Graphics: “Looks as if I’m in the middle of a jungle.” Brian

Runaway 2 is a beautiful game, as fun to look at as it is to play. In keeping with its cartoon nature, some of its graphics are flat and lack texture, but this does not impact the game. Colors are vibrant though never garish. Most settings are full of light, movement, and sometimes kitsch. Delightful details such as Brian’s shape seeming to morph as he moves behind a giant bottle (á la a fun house mirror) abound.

Brian’s quest to find Gina sends him to diverse locations ranging from the tropical jungle of Mala Island to the icy environs of Cicely, Alaska and includes a luxurious yacht and a not-so-luxurious pirate ship of the past. The humor of the game is not confined to the dialogue. Entertaining touches are found in the most unexpected places. Is that really Indiana Jones I see?

The cut scenes are gorgeously produced. My favorite locale was under the water -- complete with filtered light, schools of fish, and an old wrecked ship with bubbles languidly drifting towards the surface.

While I never pixel hunted, I had to increase the game’s brightness in two locations. This was easily done from the in-game menu.

Background and Ambient Sounds: “I like the way it sounds, and if you knew me better, you’d realize it suits me to a ‘T.’ ” Brian

There’s not much to say about the background music and ambient sounds in Runaway 2 except that, like most other elements in this game, they are well done. The original score and environmental noises are placed almost perfectly. In some games the music quickly becomes annoying, and overwhelms the exploration or the puzzle solving. But not in this one. Days later my toes are still tapping.

Interface: “I’ve always bragged about being able to carry a bunch of stuff without a back pack.” Brian

Runaway 2 employs a classic interface. Use the left mouse button for movement and the right mouse button to cycle through the possible actions. Hovering the mouse over a hotspot reveals a description at the bottom of the screen.

Saves are at will and unlimited. Each save has a generously sized picture plus the chapter number, and you get to name each save. Perfection! 

Once he has visited an area, Brian transports instantly by double clicking on the desired place. The Esc key flashes through the opening screens, and left clicking skips repeated dialogue. Happily, this game is Alt+Tab friendly and includes captions.

Access to the inventory screen and the options menu is at the top of the screen. From the options menu you can save, load, exit, and make adjustments to the sound and appearance of the game.

A summary of Runaway 1 is available from the options menu. It is not necessary to have played the first game to enjoy the second. However, those with Runaway experience may pick up on a joke or two that the uninitiated might miss. This is a great feature!

The inventory button opens a large split screen with Brian on the right and your inventory on the left. It’s a very engaging system, as Brian will gesture, make faces, and comment on your inventory selection. When you combine inventory, Brian says something witty, drops off the screen, and pops back up as the new invention appears in your inventory.

Small Problems: “No man, don’t you worry. We all have our little flaws.” Ben

Runaway 2 is both well conceived and executed, but it has a few small problems.

Loading and saving times were bit protracted. Infrequently, I spotted a misused word or a mislabeled hotspot. On the rare occasion, the spoken word did not match the captions exactly.  

My only serious problem occurred when Brian could not pick up a necessary piece of equipment. Following a walkthrough step by step did not correct this difficulty. Happily, loading a previous save and playing through again did solve it.

The U.S. release is rated “T” for crude humor, language, mild violence, sexual themes, and use of drugs. While I noticed a fair sprinkling of sexual innuendo, one cut scene following a puzzle springs to mind immediately as the main culprit. No graphics are seen, but sounds and remarks are heard which may offend. I think the developers could have found a better way to wrap up this puzzle.

Summary: “This morning has been a real humdinger.” Brian

Runaway 2 left me wanting more, literally. It did not answer all my questions, and some plot lines remain open. In spite of that, I’m glad I played it. I’m definitely ready to see what the sequel brings.

Grade:  A-


Short List:

‘T’ rating

Contains brief nudity

3rd person adventure game

Mouse controlled

Save at will

Name your own saves

Alt+Tab friendly


Dialogue extensive and often humorous

Frequent interaction with a diverse list of NPCs

Twisting, open-ended plot

Inventory puzzles

A few logic/memory puzzles

No sound puzzles

No mazes

No color discrimination puzzles

No timed puzzles

No sliders

No mini-games

No action

No quick reflexes needed

No dying

Beautiful, colorful cartoon graphics

Varied locations

Excellent sound and voiceovers

Available on DVD or by download

Paper manual

1 glitch requiring dropping back to a save

Slow loading and saving

My computer specifications:

Win XP Professional SP1

3.2 GHz Intel Pentium 4

1 GB Dual Channel DDR400 SDRAM

Sound Card: DirectX Version: 9.0b

Video Card: 128 DDR NVIDIA Geforce FX5200 Ultra

March 2007

design copyright © 2007 GameBoomers Group

 GB Reviews Index