App Reviewed on: iPhone 4s
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Runaway: A Road Adventure is a classic, old-school adventure game developed by Bulkypix. In the game, players take control of Brian, a science scholar who finds himself getting mixed up in a mobster plot while on his way to graduate school. Throughout this adventure, Brian (i.e. the player) must use his science knowledge and other logical thinking to make it through the journey successfully.
Fans of traditional, point-and-click adventure games will feel right at home playing Runaway, as the game's story serves as the window dressing for placing the main characters in pre-rendered backgrounds and collecting/combining items to solve puzzles like escaping a hospital room or analyzing an ancient artifact. Thankfully, the game's story is serviceable--despite some awkward voice acting--and the environments are changed up enough to keep players driving the story forward.
I say this not because adventure games do not have good enough gameplay to keep players moving, but in Runaway's case, the game just feels a bit too old to stay compelling on its mechanics alone. Much like other, older adventure games, players are often left with little direction to go on when it comes to advancing the story. On top of this, the game demands players to follow the logic of the game designers, which is not always as clear as it seems it should be. As a result, I found myself increasingly consulting a walkthrough because trying to get inside the minds of the game's creators was just too cumbersome.
On the other hand, if I ever did find myself figuring out the game logic on my own, I did feel quite empowered, but sometimes this empowerment was short-lived due the game's control scheme. Even when players know exactly what items they are supposed to be combining or which objects they should be interacting with, tapping on the exact right spot or dragging an item that needs to be used with something else can be similarly frustrating. Perhaps this problem may be solved by playing on the iPad.
All that being said, though, Runaway does a great job of scratching that old adventure game itch. If players have some reverence for that genre, or are just interested in seeing a modern re-creation of the exact mechanics that made those games what they were, Runaway is a quality get. Its story is engaging enough to keep players experimenting with items, and the game does a good job of looking like a "great looking" older game. Just don't expect mind-blowing gameplay, maybe keep a walkthrough handy, and stay patient to have the ideal experience.