Runaway: A Road Adventure

Posted By: ratracer

Runaway: A Road Adventure - 01/03/02 02:07 PM

Disclaimer: english is not my native language and it shows. I tried my best. Also, it's the first review I write so it may miss most of the things you wanted to know about the game - next time, it'll be better, I hope.
Runaway: A Road Adventure is a rare game, although it hit top 10 in Spain. The problem is, it only got released in Spain, as most people know, and – to my knowledge - there still are no news about its english release… So why write a review that most people may not have the opportunity to play? Good question. I guess I'm a bit of a slow writer, and this is the only game that still doesn't have a review about it…
So, I was one of the fortunate boomers to play it. Fortunate? Yes, and let me jump to the conclusion: it's a good game.
The story, in brief: you're Brian, a postgraduate student (why do Pendulo Studios like students so much?) that get's entangled real quickly with the mob. Or rather, with Gina, running from the mob…
(you can always go to if you want to know more)
So, we play as Brian through different locations, starting in NY. I wish I could say that we could play as Brian AND as Gina, but that' s not the case: Gina seems to get in trouble with ease – kidnapped by the mob, hurting an ankle, etc.- leaving Brian alone to do his deeds… In spite of the title (“ROAD adventure&#8221 wink we don't get to go to that many locations (the official site mentions 100 or so locations – I didn't count them but it felt less), which makes the game to be a bit on the short side. This is my main gripe.
By now I should have said that this game is a 3rd person perspective, point'n'click, dialogue-and-inventory puzzled (Well, I forgot to mention it, but I saying it right now). Very classic interface, pretty much like Broken Sword games. In fact, the game feels like a BS game and Brian and Gina do make you remind of George and Nico, not only physically but also psichologically…
This game beats (not by much) Broken Sword games in the graphics department – the 1024x768 resolution really making the difference. You can watch the screenshots at the Pendulo Studios site, but they are a lot more impressive when animated… It made me go “Wow” when I started playing the time (Gina also made me go “Wow”, but from different reasons! And oh, she also “beats” Nico)
(I'm starting to realise that this review is not going to be of much use to anyone who didn't play Broken Sword games)…
The puzzles are of medium difficulty: I couldn't have done the game without a walkthrough, but I think all puzzles had logic solutions. I only should have tried harder… Logic puzzles? That's a good thing in our day and age!
How good is the story? During the first part of the game, there isn't much of a story – you're running from the Mob, remember? But you have a crucifix (that Gina gave you) and its mystery to unfold… Also, Gina is not quite what she seems… So, halfway through the game you have some story to keep you interested… It's not a very elaborated plot - as I said, the game is not very long and, from time to time, you'll have Gina to rescue – but it has one of the most rewarding ends.
Talking about the end sequence: I had a tough time watching the end sequence… It is very long, and the game kept crashing through it… I went to the forum in the official website and found out I was not the only one having problems – although most had to do with the fact there was a bad batch of CD's… I discovered latter that MY problem was not a glitch of the game but of my PC, which was freezing frequently because I had installed a new scanner…
I was already at the end sequence, but let me go back: although the game is on the short side, the cut scenes are long and many are nothing more that Brian sitting on a chair and telling us of what happened – instead of being part of the playable game!
Glitches: apart from the crashing I mentioned – and not was not a game's fault – the game does improve with a graphics card that lets you (it's an option on the setup menu of the game) set up the contrast and brightness (the museum, for instance, is very dark and may lead to a pixel hunt if you can't lighten up the place)

IMHO: It's a good game and I enjoyed it quite a bit... It's not as short as we may imply from what I wrote - but I just wished it could be longer... I cannot find many faults in the game, but to be great it should have been longer, with more locations to explore, more things to do...
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Runaway: A Road Adventure - 01/03/02 11:27 PM

Thanks for your review.
I'm surprised that having a scanner would cause the game to crash. It shouldn't. Did you have to uninstall your scanner to finish the game?
Posted By: ratracer

Re: Runaway: A Road Adventure - 01/04/02 04:28 PM

well, yes - the scanner made Windows (and not just during the game) freeze for some 5 seconds every 5 minutes or so...
I'll have to update the drivers or something
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