The Point and Click adventure genre was extremely popular many years ago, what with the seminal Loom, Monkey Island, Beneath a Steel Sky, Simon the Sorcerer, Full Throttle, the Dig, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and many more. It was one of the biggest game genres at that time and sadly over the years it's grown slimmer and slimmer, various P&C games have been canned or faded into obscurity leaving us high and dry.
Recently we had a resurgence, Broken Sword 4: Angel of Darkness was a pretty good effort to get back into P&C gaming, but it didn't do as well as it could have due to the system requirements and some bugs. Some people weren't fond of the instant death timed sequences and all.
Enter Runaway, a quirky adventure that came out previously and proved there was life left in the old dog so to speak. Now we have Runaway 2: The Dream of the Turtle to sate our P&C adventure love, and so far I can report that it is pretty good and shaping up nicely.
The preview code we received ran smoothly and there were no hitches/glitches at all. The game's graphical style is a combination of cel-shaded characters and lush-drawn backgrounds and this works brilliantly with the animation, which is spot on and extremely detailed.
The interface and inventory management in the game is slick and effective. You can access it very quickly and the usual puzzles are present, combine X with Y to make Z and use Z on environment or person. But it is the smoothness of this system and the design that makes Runaway 2 an extremely enjoyable game to play.
To access options or the inventory you move the mouse to the top of the screen, a quick left click picks up the item, right clicking puts it down. Putting one item over the other may combine them, such as a knife plus bread, but if you try to combine them in the wrong order it won't work. Use bread with a knife, you'll get absolutely no result.
To bring items into the game world you can just drag them to the top of the screen and it is as simple as that. To put them away again, right click.
The preview begins in Chapter 4 and plays through till the end of that Chapter, there are some puzzles that require a little bit of lateral thought and some puzzles that could have done with a couple of hints more than they had. We spent a fair bit of time trying to solve them without looking at the helpful walkthrough that came with it.
The voice acting was certainly pretty good, the main character is likeable and there's a definite sense of humour to the game that comes through with him. Unlike the old, you can't do that, or that won't work, you get a varied response and a lot of random dialogue that plays when you try to combine certain things that wouldn't ever combine.
It has a nice musical score and the ambient sound in the game is cleverly done, spot effects and other effects are used throughout to provide a suitable atmosphere for the Chapter (in this case Alaska).
The game has a lot of promise already and we'll be bringing you a full review of it soon, but this teaser should be enough to give you an idea that there's hope for the P&C genre yet if more games like Runaway 2 are being produced.