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Runaway 2: The Dream of the Turtle

In a more serious tone, an adventure game is by definition a game that puts the storyline in the center and you can expect a very fascinating and interesting plot when approaching a game from this genre. It usually features one main hero, rarely two or more and you can usually find his character to be quite appealing. In order to make progress, you’ll have to utilize objects you will find scattered around the environments that the game offers.

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INTRODUCTION

Well, my fellow gamers, today I have a very special treat for you. The game that I am about to talk about comes from a very special and rare genre. Some of you may have never heard of it while others may have already forgotten all about it. Usually, when a game from this genre is released, it floods certain gamers with warm and nostalgic memories. What I mean is, ehmmm, well, it is a game that ehhhhh, well – it is an adventure game! There, I said it!

What do you mean you never heard of it? I guess you just forgot it existed…It was THE genre two decades ago, you can take my word for it!

In a more serious tone, an adventure game is by definition a game that puts the storyline in the center and you can expect a very fascinating and interesting plot when approaching a game from this genre. It usually features one main hero, rarely two or more and you can usually find his character to be quite appealing. In order to make progress, you’ll have to utilize objects you will find scattered around the environments that the game offers. Sometimes speaking to people and steering the conversation to the right direction will make the story progress as well. You will rarely encounter action sequences in adventure games, that is not what it’s about. Adventure game will try to challenge you intellectually and also, test your patience. Usually you’ll see your hero from third person angle on pre-rendered 2D backgrounds.

The soundtrack is usually peaceful, relaxing and changes in certain portions of the game, according to the situation. Voice acting is very important in adventures and is usually of high quality.

The game that I am going to talk about today pretty much does all I mentioned above, and does it pretty good!

SPECIFICATIONS

Source Information

Published By:   Focus Home Interactive
Developed By:   Péndulo Studios, S.L.
Genre:   Adventure
Release Date:   November 17th, 2006 (March 2007 in USA)
Official Website: Primary Website

System Specs

Minimum:

  • Operating System:  Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
  • Processor:   Pentium™ III 500
  • RAM:   128 MB RAM
  • Hard Drive Space:   8GB
  • Video Card:  DirectX™ 9 compatible with a resolution of 1024×768 and 16/24 bits colors
  • Sound Card:   DirectX™ 9 compatible
  • Optical Drive(s):   DVD-ROM drive
  • Input Device(s):   Mouse & keyboard

As Tested:

  • AMD 3000+ @ 1.8Ghz
  • 2GB RAM
  • 7800GT 256mb
  • 80GB HD
  • Windows XP
  
  
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THE STORYLINE

Since the graphics are usually still and almost no real time rendering is used, an adventure game relies on its storyline more than anything else.

Runaway: The dream of the Turtle tries to continue the relatively successful adventure game that preceded it, Runaway: A Road Adventure. In the first game, you played as Brian Basco, a student that a great future lays ahead of him. While driving along the New York streets, he hits a beautiful girl who runs out in front of his car! Brian, being a nice guy, takes her to the hospital. When she wakes up, she tells him that she witnessed a murder and that some not very friendly gangsters are after her! Helping her out made him a part of the whole thing and together they try to runaway from those thugs. They go through interesting places around the world and meet very interesting people on their way. The storyline provides some great moments along with some pretty surprising twists.

If you didn’t play the first game and you’re a fan of this genre, I suggest you’ll start with A Road Adventure and then move on to The dream of the Turtle. That’s because the first one is a great adventure game and also, you will meet some characters from the first game during your travels in the sequel, which is always fun…

The sequel has a great and full of humor storyline. It also features some great twists and turns in the plot, just like the first one. Most of the time, the game does not take itself too seriously and makes fun of almost everything around. So, on one hand, don’t expect a realistic and serious storyline but on the other, what’s wrong with that? We all know that many games from this genre became classics because of their absurd and crazy stories…


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The game starts with a cutscene to get you into the mood. Gina and Brian are finally safe and having fun on a beautiful tropical island. It seems that Gina loves to get into trouble, or maybe it is just bad luck that follows her everywhere. She arranges a beautiful trip to Tiki Falls and Tiki Temple in Mala Island. Sounds great, only problem is she hires a weird and unreliable tours company in order to get there. Brian doesn’t like the idea at all, especially when he meets the pilot, an ancient old man called Otto. A pilot that I would think twice before letting him play Flight Simulator X, let alone, fly a real plane with me inside…

Of course, Brian’s hunch is correct and Otto faints while they are on their way. Brian pushes Gina out of the plane with the only parachute they had available and she lands right into a lake on Mala Island and disappears. A few seconds after, the plane crashes somewhere on the island and Brian, surprisingly, manages to survive the crash. Now, you as Brian, must find a way to get to Gina. Although you are both on the same Island, you probably realize it is not going to be that easy.

You’ll find yourself going on a journey around the world, encountering lots of interesting, funny and sometimes pretty weird characters, solve puzzles and learn more and more about a huge conspiracy involving the US army, lemurs, pirates, polar bears aliens gifted with extraordinary intelligence and more… You will have to go through all of that in order to finally meet up with Gina again…


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GAMEPLAY

The gameplay that Runaway 2 offers you does not bring anything new and any gamer that ever tried playing an adventure game should feel right at home. Runaway 2 is a classic point-and-click adventure game where you’ll find yourself moving the cursor over the screen, hoping it will change its shape on a certain object, meaning you can interact with it. If you click a spot on the surface, Brian will go to that spot.

If you pass your cursor over a relevant character, area or object, the cursor will change into a magnifying glass and will enable you to look and examine the object. Right clicking on the object enables you to pick up / operate / speak / interact with the object in question.

The cursor will change into an arrow to indicate you may leave the current environment you’re in and go to another off-screen area. You can skip and move quickly to those off-screen areas by double clicking them, which is a nice feature that many modern adventures use and helps a lot by saving your precious time. You may examine your inventory by pressing Tab or move the cursor to the upper area of the screen.

The point-and-click style, that many adventure games choose, as the way to let the user interact with the environment, is somewhat tiresome. It makes you go on a pixel hunt too often in order to find the exact place in which a specific object hides and you just must obtain in order to continue and make progress. That can sometimes drive me crazy, how could I miss that one little spot over there, in that dark corner above the boxes behind the brown door…


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Runaway 2 uses the inventory in order to create many of its puzzles. This means many of the solutions you’ll have to come up with will be consisted of finding the appropriate objects, combine them and use them with a certain character or area in the environment in order to proceed and make progress. Another thing you’ll have to do in order to make progress is do a lot of talking with many characters. This will help you learn what your options are and give you clues about what you should do next.

The game is consisted of 6 main chapters. Within those chapters, you’ll find yourself investigating above 100 different and colorful places around the world including Alaska, Hawaii, Jungles, underwater diving, in the sky and sea. While investigating those environments, you will encounter more than 30 funny and interesting characters, having a lot of conversations that spice up the game with a nice dose of humor and depth.

The game tries to make sure the player will not get stuck and spend too much time in one place, which usually leads to frustration. The difficulty level is not too high and usually, as long as you open your eyes, look at everything and spy for clues in conversations, you should be good to go… I must say one thing about the difficulty level though.

I really love adventure games. I played so many that I sometimes just can’t understand where I found the time for all them. The one thing I will never get about games from this genre is the absurd and utterly non-logical riddles / puzzles that each of them throw at you. Runaway 2 falls into the same trap as many others in that aspect. It has some awkward puzzles that make you wonder what the hell were the developers thinking when including a puzzle like this as a part of the game.

The gameplay brings nothing new but then again, that is exactly what we like about the genre, so it’s quite alright…


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GRAPHICS & SOUND

The graphics that Pendulo Studios designed for their Runaway series are very special and interesting. While playing Runaway, you’ll feel like you’re actually watching an animated cartoon movie since the developers used the cel-shaded (toon shading) animation that makes the graphics and environments in the game look less realistic and more hand drawn. That creates a nice and funny atmosphere at first glance.

The sequel enhances the visual aspect by using a new game engine with 3D real time special effects such as dynamic lighting, atmospheric effects, footprints, camera changes and panoramic views. It offers more than an hour of cartoon sequences to build up the plot and create some pretty funny moments. The animations of the characters are great and look pretty smooth, even side characters that are not in the center of the storyline look and move great.

One thing that is a shame about Runaway 2 is that it won’t let you change the resolution and take advantage of your screen’s size. It forces you to play on a pretty low resolution, 1024×768… Also, some environments are much more detailed than others, which is weird. Why would you invest only in some of the environments and less in others? Game looks great most of the time and brings a new look in comparison to other adventure games out there.

The sound in Runaway is exactly what I expect from a great adventure game to supply. Pendulo Studios bring us a high quality 5.1 sound with original music and soundtrack that are perfect and match the current environment you’re character is in. Besides the great and original soundtrack, Runaway 2 also features a great and professional voice acting. The voice acting contributes a lot to the presentation and is a very important component in this genre’s games. As happened in the first game, the sequel also uses the same voice actor with more then one character, but it is done better in the sequel and not too obvious.


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CONCLUSION

Runaway 2 is a classic point-and-click adventure game and will satisfy any gamer that finds this genre appealing. It has an interesting and twisted storyline, spiced up with lots of humoristic conversations and situations. It has unique graphics and looks pretty good. Sound and voice acting are really good and in global and it is not too hard to complete, if you have the patience to solve a few non-logical riddles.

All in all, it is a recommended game for all gamers out there to try out and feel like you’re in the 90’s again.

Note: Runaway 2: The Dream of the Turtle was released only in Europe and Canada so far and will not be released in the USA until mid March.

HowRunaway 2: The Dream of the Turtle Scores

  • Graphics:   8
  • Sound:  9
  • GamePlay:  8
  • Pleasure:  8
  • Interface:  8

Final Score: 8 out of 10 and the Bjorn3D Seal of Approval.

Members & non-members alike, we invite you to discuss this and other Reviews on the Bjorn3D Product Discussion forum…

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