Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle Review
Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle box art
System: PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Pendulo Studio 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: CDV 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: March 16, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Adventure games are a breath of fresh air, as long as you haven't inhaled one in a while

by Cole Smith

Adventure games have a lot of competition. But they are a PC staple and have their loyal fans. While I have reviewed my share of these point-and-click games over the years, in the last year I believe I have only played one. I was quite taken by this game, but probably more for sentimental reasons than anything else. Truth be told, it's a decent adventure game, not brilliant, but entertaining. I certainly enjoyed it, if for nothing more than the novelty.

Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot

There are plenty of puzzles to solve, and for the most part they relate to the context of the game. There isn't much of a storyline as the action takes place in real-time. The biggest disappointment is that there is no finality to the game. You're left with a real cliffhanger. To be continued…

Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle is the sequel to Runaway: A Road to Adventure. It's not imperative that you play the original, but those that have will be familiar with the main characters, Gina and Brian. In the first game, these two met up and had quite an adventure. They got mixed up with organized crime while trying to solve an ancient mystery. In this story, they wind up stranded on an island when their plane goes down immediately following the pilot's death. Separated from each other in the jungle, Brian tries his best to find his lounge-singer girlfriend, Gina, who is being guarded by unknown soldiers. In order to reach her, Brian must solve a variety of puzzles and con a handful of colorful, but somewhat cliched, characters.

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It's obvious that this game is geared towards a younger demographic. Sometimes painfully obvious, given the overly hip dialogue and smarmy jokes. There is a prevailing sense of humor, but it sometimes gets caught up on itself because it can be so downright cornball. There are some apparent translation problems which will cause you to pause for a few head scratches as you wonder what's really being said. The characters aren't fully developed emotionally, but all you have to do is take a look at the graphics and you'll realize that you're taking part in a lighthearted cartoon adventure. Don't take things too seriously and you should enjoy yourself, even though the characters can be annoyingly immature.

Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot

You'll be in control of Brian for much of the game. You won't even see much of Gina. I suppose that's to give the puzzles more intensity, especially if you've played the first game and are used to having her around. Like all point-and-click games, the controls are easy to use. With one click of the mouse you move Brian around, and with another click you will perform an action such as opening a door or picking up an object. The key to the game is picking up whatever objects you encounter and adding them to your inventory. These items will then be combed through and combined to help solve puzzles. Some of them can be a bit arbitrary, but for the most part they make sense - even if it's after the fact.

Some puzzles appear that they can be solved quickly and easily, but the game doesn't let you get away with such simple solutions. You'll find plenty of examples where you are forced to try alternative methods before you can actually perform the technique you originally thought would work, which eventually does. In another bit of frustration, there are times when you'll have to go through the same motions three or more times before your solution works. I'm not sure if it's a glitch or something that's been programmed to prolong the game. It is longer than it needs to be. A novice can expect to spend more than 20 hours playing it. But that's not all quality time. There is plenty of backtracking, second guessing, and trial and error. It's unlikely you'll continue to feel inspired to complete the game in one sitting.

Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot

Even though the graphics are 2D, the locations have more dimension to them than the characters. Brian's lines are delivered as though he's too cool for chitchat. The conversations that he has with other characters can be quite inane. Occasionally you'll mine a few nuggets from these conversations, so you're kind of forced to listen to them all. As I mentioned, the graphics are very cartoonish. The environments look like a cross between Myst and vintage Warner Bros. The animation is superb. The characters move with style, and even when they are clad in string bikinis and resort to some lowbrow toilet humor, they possess an air of dignity. The music doesn't exactly rock, but it doesn't particularly suck. Hope you enjoy Eurotrash pop.

Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot

The Dream of the Turtle has the basic point-and-click formula down to a science. It does have a style all its own and it's different enough to make it an interesting alternative for those looking for something different.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

Features

  • A great adventure game with excellent production, marvelous scenarios, ever present humor, and amazing puzzles.
  • Up to 100 locations from all four corners of the world, all rendered in lush graphical detail.
  • More than 30 fully-realized 3D characters together, all with distinct (and sometimes oddball) personalities reflected in-game.
  • New game engine with 3D real time special effects: light, atmospheric effects, footprints, camera changes, panoramic views.
  • High quality 5.1 stereo sound, coupled with an entertaining soundtrack and voice work will have players humming along with the music and chuckling at the in-game commentary.
  • More than an hour of amazing animated sequences to underpin the plot, its surprise developments, and many comic moments.

    3.7

    Overall Rating - Good
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
    Rating out of 5
    Rating Description

    4.6

    Graphics
    Excellent cartoon art. Very stylish and imaginative environments.

    4.5

    Control
    The controls are as simple as pointing and clicking.

    2.7

    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    The voiceacting is average, but the dialogue could use a complete overhaul. The poppy tunes aren't particularly catchy.

    1.4

    Play Value
    There's little reason, if any, to revisit this game.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot - click to enlarge Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot - click to enlarge Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot - click to enlarge Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot - click to enlarge Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot - click to enlarge Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot - click to enlarge Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot - click to enlarge Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot - click to enlarge Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot - click to enlarge Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot - click to enlarge Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot - click to enlarge Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle screenshot - click to enlarge

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