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The Great Escape Reviews
Author: Kevin Fenning
Date: 2000

Reviewed by David Whyld

The Great Escape involves the efforts of an ex-pizza delivery boy as he attempts to escape from the dead end life he finds himself trapped in after waking up one day, butt-naked in the street (never a good way to start your day).

There is a lot to like about The Great Escape. It is an amusing, humorous game that is neither too hard or too easy. Being able to finish the game in three separate ways also adds greatly to replay value although only one of the three feels like a "proper" ending.

That said, it does have its fair share of faults. Early in the game I was hassled by two thugs - namely, imaginatively, First Thug and Second Thug - but any attempts to reference them ended badly because the game didn't understand the difference between the two. Another problem with the thugs came when I wrote them a cheque and the game told me I didn't have enough money in my account to cover the cheque: something it told me whether I had enough money or not. Later, I shot a man in a car salesroom and then, despite being shot, the man actually sold me a car! Apparently no option had been allowed for if the man was unconscious at the time. Also, only being able to carry £1000 at a time was a problem in that, if you're given £1000 while you happen to already be carrying £1000, you end up not with £2000 but just £1000. None of these are major problems and the game still plays fine with them in but a little more testing beforehand would have been nice.

There are a few amusing hidden extras scattered throughout the game which add considerably to its appeal. Following what it said in the room description for the bathroom, I attempted to drink the bleach and died, and was subsequently told off for being so stupid as to drink bleach. In hindsight, it probably wasn't the smartest thing to try… Nice that the writer had thought to include an option for such a thing though.

The Great Escape isn't a difficult game to finish. There are a few puzzles throughout although none of them are especially difficult to figure out - and for those that really need help there's even a walkthrough book to be found (a good idea because I'd finished the game once and assumed that was the only way) and a hints book. Most of the puzzles are fairly straightforward and generally involve conversing with a character, finding out what they want and then hunting around the game for the item in question. More often than not, the item is pretty obvious and shouldn't require much effort to come across.

Logic: 10 out of 10
Logical throughout.

Problems: 3 out of 10 (10 = no problems)
Being told the fridge was bare before I'd even opened it was certainly strange (do I have x-ray vision?) and there was an ambiguity bug with the first and second thugs. Also being sold a car by an unconscious whom I had shot left me a little bewildered to say the least. The only other problem came with a "subscript out of range" error when I opened the front door to let Julie in, although this didn't crash the game (which was unusual enough in itself) but should have been picked up during testing of the game before release. There was also a bad error that after giving the novel to Mr Broomfield I was (for some strange reason) moved to the location outside of my house!

Story: 8 out of 10
Different and original, with enough background story to set the feel for the game well enough.

Characters: 6 out of 10
Interaction with the characters in the game was dealt with by a simple "converse with [character]" command and there was little you could do with them apart from this. But all the same they were well rendered and amusing.

Writing: 8 out of 10
Witty from start to finish.

Game: 8 out of 10
One of the best ADRIFT games and it's just a pity the author hasn't written anything else.

Overall: 43 out of 60

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