Point and clicky DS fun.
Runaway: A Twist of Fate is the third in a series of point and click adventures from Pendulo Studios and Focus Home Interactive. This review is based on the DS version, but the game is also available on the PC.
Now , I am gonna talk about sandwiches. This has nothing to do with the fact that I am starving and really want a sandwich, but everything to do with how I see point and click adventure games. Honestly.
Like a sandwich, point and click adventure games are made of three component parts. Well, there are a lot more parts, but I still want to talk about sandwiches, so three will suffice. First up we have the actual control method, or the bread. The method of control and how well it performs holds the game together and defines it as a point and click.
Runaway: A Twist of Fate is an almost direct port of the PC version of the same game and, as such, flows nicely on the Nintendo handheld. There really is no better control method to replicate the use of a mouse with such ease. Quite simply the player taps on the area of the screen that they want their character to move to. By sliding the stylus around the screen, small markers will glow and get brighter the closer the stylus is, to indicate that something can be interacted with. Tapping these markers will bring up the options to examine or use. Items that are found, picked up and stashed away for later use, can be combined by bringing up the inventory and just dragging one on top of the other. All in all, the ToF control method works very well and represents, to me at least, a good quality loaf, possibly with some form of herby crust.
The second part of our point and click sandwich is the spread. Should you prefer butter, margarine, sunflower spread or whatever, it still represents an important part of any sandwich. In this case the role of the spread is taken by the “fluff” of the game, the graphics and sounds. ToF looks absolutely great on the little screen. Lets not be expecting graphics of a similar quality to the PC version as the DS lacks the power. But for what the developers had to work with, the game looks as good as any. The most notable piece of downsizing is the transition to 2D, but this really does not harm the game. The cut-scenes are gloriously animated and offer to move on the story very successfully.
The sound in Twist of Fate is another highlight. The games soundtrack is fitting to the story and there are ample sound effects that also fit in really well. Even the voice work is finished to a high standard. This all tends to imply a very high quality of spread being used.
The thing about the spread in a sandwich is that it can mask the dryness of the filling. How often have we seen point and click adventures that have been almost devoid of any interesting story, yet they were so beautiful and well made that this was overlooked? The opposite is also possible, with the story being so good that the polish is completely ignored and all of the games’ flaws are forgiven. However, for perfection to be achieved, both the spread and the filling must be of high quality.
Finally, we come to the filling. This part of our point and click snack is very subjective as peoples tastes differ.
As the third and final installment in the series, we follow on from the previous game and hopefully wrap up any loose ends. Brian and Gina return for their final madcap adventure, filled with twists and puzzles that will both entertain and exercise the brain. The game begins with the player controlling Gina as she struggles to solve the mystery and find her cohort, Brian.
Being that the game follows on from the second, some players may take a while to become acquainted with the characters, as a lot of previous knowledge is expected. The game follows a reasonably mild difficulty curve, allowing players to get fully engrossed in the story before the really hard puzzles begin to appear.
There is a lot to be pleased with in this story. The puzzles are mostly interesting, there are some wonderfully comedic moments and the game is filled with bizarre, memorable characters that make up the supporting cast. ToF is more mature than the previous offering and this makes me think of it as a roast chicken and stuffing filling. Whilst perfectly suitable for kids, most of the younger gamers would probably prefer chocolate spread or jam.
So there we have it. Runaway:Â A Twist of Fate is a roast chicken and stuffing sandwich on herby crust bread with a high quality spread. Does that make sense? Probably not, but I really want a sandwich. Anyone with a passing interest in intelligent, witty point and click adventure games and a DS would be foolish to pass this game by. Don’t you want to know what happens to Brian and Gina? Don’t you want a sandwich?