Runaway: A Twist of Fate Part One
Developer: Pendulo Studios
Platform: iPad (Reviewed), iPod Touch, iPhone
Release Date: March 28th, 2013
Price: $4.99 Buy it Here
Splitting up large finales seem to be all the rage these days. Harry Potter and Twilight did it, so why not Runaway? Runaway: A Twist of Fate Part One is the first part of the Runaway finale. The classic point and click adventure series wraps things up with a large 2 GB bang.
Brian Basco is accused of the murder of Colonel Kordsmeier. On the stand, Brian is unable to remember committing the crime and is sentenced to the Happy Dale Sanitarium for evaluation. The psychiatrist Dr. Bennett is using hypnotherapy to discover if Brian is lying about his amnesia and help Brian recover his lost memories. After a hypnotherapy session, Brian realizes he may be sent to jail and decides to stage his escape. Players take control of Gina for the first time and must help Brian by proving his innocence.
Runaway: A Twist of Fate continues Pendulo’s tradition of quirky characters, snappy writing, and laugh out loud humour. The characters are genuinely likeable characters that are unique and memorable. The writing manages to carefully slide pop culture references into the script without becoming tiring or repetitive. The humour and themes in the game is definitely PG-13 at the very least. My only complaint with Runaway: A Twist of Fate’s writing is that it does not do a very good job of bringing new players up to speed on the plot arc of the Runaway series. Although the game is completely enjoyable on its own, as a player new to the series, it would have been nice to have a little more background information about the characters.
Runaway: A Twist of Fate Part One is a point and click adventure ported from the PC. Players click around the environment and are provided with the option to interact, observe, or use an item with certain hotspots. There is a button to cut down on rather annoying hotspot hunt. Tapping the magnifying glass button will light up all possible hotspots. The light bulb button will play a short video providing a verbal hint on what to do next. The second tap of the hint will provide the same hint but add a small visual hint on what to do next. In general, the hints are very helpful without completely spoiling things. There are a few instances where an old hint will play, misleading the player. But these are far and few between. I appreciated the fact the hint system pays homage to the old days of gaming where stuck players could call a hotline to get advice on how to overcome an obstacle. The game manages to balance its difficulty well.
Unfortunately, Runaway: A Twist of Fate Part One is plagued with some problems. There is a strange bug in the beginning of the game that causes the UI to disappear. Additionally, the game is a little unstable, crashing once every hour or two of gameplay. The main culprit was tapping the hint button too many times in quick succession. Double tapping the hint button would cause the video to load but immediately skip itself. A third tap would often lead the game to crash. In the process of one of these crashes, my game save completely corrupted. Loading the corrupted save caused the game to recoverably freeze.
Pendulo Studios continues to use their distinctive 2d art style that has served them well over the years. The style is colourful, eye catching, and is an excellent balance of cartoony and realism. The graphics are sharp and take advantage of the new iPad’s Retina display. Pendulo Studios sticks with a simple, tried and true UI that works well with the touchscreen.
The music is excellent, but the voice acting completely outshines the music. Runaway: A Twist of Fate Part One features a fantastic cast of voice actors. The game contains some of the best voice acting found on iOS games. Although the game is fully subtitled, I highly recommend playing this game with the sound on.
Runaway: A Twist of Fate Part One could have easily been a 9.5 game. For $4.99, buyers get a high quality game that will clock in around twelve hours of play. Unfortunately, the game could use a patch. The game is perfectly playable in its current state, but there will be a few small problems along the way. If gamers are willing to look past the small speed bumps, they will be rewarded with a fantastic point and click adventure for iOS.
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