Runaway: A Twist Of Fate?

Oh eurgh.

I’m pretty surprised that there’s another Runaway game coming. The previous two, while extremely pretty, I found horrible. The point and click adventures were remarkably charmless, and sometimes even offensively so. Which makes the news of a third one not the best news I’ve heard. But hey, you might disagree – clearly enough people do – and this one could be different. There’s a trailer below.

The first Runaway can be summed up in one puzzle: you are required to make peanut butter. In order to do this, you must melt some peanuts. Right. And how do you melt peanuts? You leave them in the sun. And peanut butter is made.

The second one I found much more offensive. Ostensibly set around the notion of rescuing your kidnapped girlfriend (whom you can play as later in the game), within about half an hour of the love of your life being taken hostage you’re having sex with a random waitress on the unknown island. This girl who simply cannot resist your witless advances then ten minutes later agrees to have sex with another guy at your request, in order to create a diversion. Oh, and you cut a key by using a magnifying glass and the ever-powerful sun, and fix a spark plug by using a knife on a chainsaw.

Maybe Twist Of Fate will take a new approach. Or maybe you think me a fool, and are delighted there’s more of the same. Here’s the teaser:

33 Comments

  1. Risingson says:

    Hey there. Runaway 1 had LOTS of problems, the first one related to the storytelling, which was simply terrible (humor didn’t work, puzzles were of the unfair fashion – repeating the same action over and over, using an specific spot for warming something IN A DESERT… – , and technically it was lacking… but the second part was MUCH better. It was much more straight to the point, it laughed loudly at the main characters (something that I also appreciated in Broken Sword 2 and Syberia 2, two of the most underrated and misunderstood adventures ever), and puzzles were really creative and rewarding. Check your sense of humor when playing next time: subtle irony is around the corner when you don’t expect it.

    • cheeba says:

      And it was all going so well until you championed Syberia 2. Oh dear.

    • greenB says:

      While I would agree that Runaway has its own peculiar kind of humor (but hey, humor nonetheless), the problem for me was more the writing at a grander scale. The slutty barmaid is a good example: okay, you could argue that Brian was confused and rather turned on, and that she is a slut, but the game just basically threw them together for no real reason. The same is true for the romance: why on earth would Brian want to rescue this Gina? I found her quite annoying, and the size of her breasts rather made it worse. While the puzzles and some locations and characters were really rather enjoyable, I was still forced to help Brian save his masturbatory fantasy, not the love nof his life.

  2. Angel Dust says:

    I only ever made it about a third of the way through the first one due to it being completely awful so I’m with you on this one Mr. Walker. I’ve found that adventure gamers are often notoriously forgiving of pap like this, possible due to commercial adventure games being rather thin on the ground, but with the likes of Nelly Cootalot and Time Gentlemen, Please! being made by the indie AGS scene there is no need to keep buying this shit.

    That all said I would be delighted if this third game turned out to be good as it does look quite lovely.

  3. Flint says:

    The flower pot/tub full of mud puzzle of the first one is one of my personal most hated adventure game puzzles ever. And it was always very hard to care about the plot when the love of the protagonist’s life popped out of nowhere, had practically no chemistry or proper screentime with the main character and who had way too much of “hurf hurf let’s have a geek get a STONKIN HOT CHICK for once, hurf hurf *ups boob size*” vibe to her.

    The Trans Divas Disco Mix of the main theme is surprisingly cool in some cheesy way though.

  4. Phlebas says:

    I haven’t played the second Runaway game yet. The first annoyed me immensely because it kept coming so close to being really good and then falling flat – there were several puzzles that could have been great but were let down by poor prompting or translation issues. I think the main problem was that it didn’t seem to have been playtested in English at all.
    Nelly Cootalot does indeed kick its arse, though.

  5. Igor Hardy says:

    I only tried the demo of the first part. Some terribly designed puzzle put me off for good.

    This series always gets heavily criticized on adventure gaming forums for its ridiculous gameplay. It’s interesting that it is popular enough to have new installments.

    • Thants says:

      And if adventure game fans think your gameplay is ridiculous you’ve crossed some kind of threshold into pure insanity.

  6. Benny says:

    Having never played this and making assumptions only on the video/your comments it seems to have the feel of design by committee where by the committee have just done some focus groups on what’s funny and what’s not with a few average american teens.

    The trailer itself speaks volumes, a random rocky soundtrack, no dialog, no idea of story, just explosions and slapstick comedy which without context feels completely stale.

    Time Gentlemen, Please! took the standard formula which monkey island and it’s peers had created and added a modern humor to it. The kind of thing that quite literally only two guys could have written, because to add any more writers would be to compromise the personality of it. The trailer has a complete lack of personality and i assume the main character will fill in every stereotype that’s been established since American Pie.

    • Benny says:

      Oh but the graphics do look nice! Time Gentlemen in HD maybe..?

  7. Carra says:

    The second game ended with a big cliffhanger. A sequel doesn’t come as a surprise.

    I’m one of those who did enjoy both games. The animations are great, the puzzles were fun and the game has a good sense of humor. They’re not some of the best adventure games ever made but they are entertaining.

    I never noticed the irony in sleeping with someone else while trying to rescue your girlfriend. I was too busy trying to bed her to notice.

    The original game can be gotten drm free for $9.99 from gog.com. Well worth it for adventure fans.

  8. gulag says:

    I can’t comment on the quality of the game, but I really dig the art style. Very European comic album.

  9. Clovis says:

    …you cut a key by using a magnifying glass

    I did that all the time as a kid!

    Oh, wait, that was newspaper…. was the key made out of newspaper in the game?

    Honestly though, all those solutions make perfect sense if you’ve been playing adventure games constantly for the last 20+ years.

  10. Benny says:

    After looking at some youtube walkthroughs of the first game it just seems rather stale and wooden. It almost seems stuck between somewhere jokey and somewhere serious, trying too hard and not hitting either mark.

    I’m most surprised that it’s made by a Spanish developer though.

  11. Paul S. says:

    That bloke’s head is a RIDICULOUS shape.

  12. The Sombrero Kid says:

    never heard of the series till now and from now until eternity it will disgust me.

  13. Axiin says:

    Wow there’s a lot of hatred for these games, I’m a bit surprised. I played the first one and actually really enjoyed it. I only really got stuck once in the game and had to look up how to get out of that situation. Otherwise I felt really proud when I figured out a puzzle. I guess I’m a horrible adventure gamer then.

    • Kakksakkamaddafakka says:

      I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard time understanding how anyone can enjoy the writing in these games.

      I mean, if the problem only amounted to the progression, the puzzles, or even the story as a whole, but my god (!) the characters are the worst written asshats I’ve come across in any game. ‘Fucking Freddy and Lolita’ had better writing, characterwise, for crying out loud. Brian is simply a tosser, why would I ever want to help him getting it on with some dimwitted dancer?

      There’s an gargantuan inverse charm to this game that overshadows the graphics and presentation; and I find it sad, because having artistic talent working on classic adventure games (old school 2D point and click) should be reason to celebrate. Instead Pendulo manage to fuck it up in the one little avenue that actually counts, namely the writing. Simply put, it’s an adventuregamers nightmare. It’s like getting thrown out of the cab two blocks from her place.

  14. Backov says:

    You COULD fix a fouled spark plug with a knife.

  15. Michel says:

    My favourite puzzle from Runaway was getting a tool out of a trough full of mud (the kind that feeds horses). Reach in and grab the tool? Noooooo. You have to go upstairs onto the balcony, and drop a potted plant into the trough, spilling the mud and freeing the tool. What. The. Shit.

    That game sucked and I doubt the second was any better.

  16. Ozzie says:

    I liked the first Runaway when it first came out. I still think it’s a slightly above average game.
    Particularly chapter 3 is a favorite of mine, despite some illogical puzzles. And the peanut butter puzzle made perfect sense to me when I first played it, when I was younger and more stupid.
    Today I know that butter and peanuts standing in the sun result in molten butter and peanuts and not in peanut butter. But hey, my stupid mind helped me to progress in this game, so I guess that’s worth something! Well, okay, I’m lying to make myself feel better.
    But yeah, I thought chapter 3 was great.
    One thing though: Why is it always the peanut butter puzzle that’s singled out? How was glasses + black oil = sun glasses any more logical? That’s still the worst puzzle in the whole game in my opinion.

  17. Zapatapon says:

    Wow, I am also surprised by the amount of hate drawn by this series. The cartoony graphic style is really a success, the writing, story, and puzzles I found to be generally OK with some highs and some lows. Honestly, which adventure game doesn’t have its share of nonsensical puzzles (and that includes the Longest Journey, as you bloody well know, John)?

    As for the “sex with a random waitress” scene, I felt the two characters spend quite a whithin the game first going from being total strangers to knowing each other, helping each other out and forming a bond. I remember the scene mainly for the main character having some comical internal discussion about whether he should go for it or not, which I found genuinely funny. I was actually taken aback (in a good way) by the final outcome of this debate, because I had expected the designers to stick safely to the usual cliche of the politically correct, mild-mannered and bland hero. That was a refreshing, if risque, story twist and it did not strike me as vulgar, more in a goofy James Bond vein.

    Also, I played the french version of Runaway 2, and in the last part, which takes place on a ship in the 17th century, all of the dialogues were written almost exclusively in alexandrine verse (as used by classical french 17th century playwrights). This was a really nice touch, adding both to the comical effect and to the sense of polishing effort put into the game. Could it be possibly an example of a translation being better than the original?

  18. malkav11 says:

    I was perennially surprised that there were people who actually recommended Runaway. I won’t. The writing is terrible, the puzzles bad. Either alone might be forgivable, both together is not.

  19. Ozzie says:

    I would recommend Runaway to hardcore adventure fans that already played through all the great titles.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Wow. I bought both of the Runaway games in a bargain bin double pack a few years back, but I never installed them after discovering they were both DRMd up the wazoo.

    Lucky escape, then.

  21. Sunjammer says:

    I rather liked Runaway, but i can’t really explain why. I suppose i was just starving for adventure games.

  22. Bhavesh says:

    Hi friendz,

    If you are stuck somewhere in this game then please check the walkthrough of this game. link to techarena.in

  23. techguru says:

    The graphic engine behind Runaway has been entirely rethought and reprogrammed in order to take advantage of modern graphic cards. Now, shadows, dynamic lightning and smoothing effects ar used more efficiently and with more beautiful than ever graphics. For more information see link to techarena.in

  24. e_mortal says:

    “If you are stuck somewhere in this game then please check the walkthrough of this game. link to techarena.in

    this walkthrough is not written by an english speaker and needs decoding to understand it. Not very detailed. Says “take the box of (from) the ledge” but doesn’t explain how – which is where I’m stuck!

  25. lavinia says:

    For e-mortal..you must open the trap door and climb on it to get tge box from the ledge…
    now can anybody help me with another problem..when chapter 2 stars and after the conversation between brain and gabbo,the game crashes…what is wrong?

  26. joni says:

    Hi! To get the thing from the ledge, the wood door in the floor(bad english) needs to be open to stand on,,,but I assume you already figured that out.

    Surprised on some of the critisism. Im a big fan of the genre, dont remember everything from the first, but really enjoyed it. The second not so much, but still one of the better I have played. The 3. one looks great so far. And I know that lots of other adventure players rates it very high. I guess a lot of it comes down to taste. I like the crazy logics in these games. And the colourful characters makes it even better.

  27. JohnWithAnAitch says:

    To me, Runaway and its sequels are among the best adventure games ever produced, topped only by the likes of The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, or Monkey Island 1. Two things got me hooked immediately: the extremely atmospheric sound track (Vera Domínguez has the voice of a goddess!) as well as the story line that, for once, started out as relatable and realistic. I mean, which guy in his right mind wouldn’t help and rescue some hottie, just to, maybe, possibly, get to sleep with her, sleep with one of her equally hot friends, or, if all else fails (and, don’t kid yourself, you’re just playing a video game), at least peek up her skirt. And while I’m at it: flirting with some sexy, exotic waitress in the beautiful surroundings of Hawaii doesn’t put me off even a bit. Not even when my in-game girlfriend has just been kidnapped or disappeared otherwise.

    The games, for the most past, are exactly what I’m looking for: living out a fantasy. What did irk me a bit, though, was the stupid plot twist (later in the first installment) involving aliens and what not. Has there ever been a decent adventure game that would keep things real?

  28. Guido says:

    stop complaining about the games unless you can make something better. The first two were very entertaining & I’ve only just bought the 3rd one tonight. I thought it was great that Brian got the bar chick in part 2 in the sack. He deserved it for chasing that hopeless Gina for so long.

    The end.