AR-K: The Great Escape is the third episode in the classic point and click saga of AR-K. Help Alicia Van Volish to escape from District 8 and discover the source of the mysterious Golden Sphere through a great story, written by the 3 times Eisner award-winning writer Greg Rucka.
User reviews:
Overall:
Positive (44 reviews) - 97% of the 44 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 14, 2015

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September 5

Have you met Alicia Van Volish?

AR-K: The Great Escape is 50% off this week!

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Reviews

“This episodic game continues to evolve, proving that the developers are listening and they are on the right track.”
8.5 – Vandal

“The Great Escape is such a better episode than the first ones, that it's not an easy task to avoid comparisons with those 90s LucasArts classics.”
8 – Gamereactor

“With high-quality writing, voice acting, and graphic design, it stands well above the expectations I had going in, and I’d easily recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of the point-and-click genre.”
8 – Twinfinite

About This Game


Episode 3 in the AR-K universe!
Help Alicia Van Volish to flee from District 8 and discover the source of the mysterious Golden Sphere in an adventure full of mystery, acid humor, hilarious characters and sci-fi. Immerse yourself in a classic point and click style, with great history written by award-winning comic writer Greg Rucka.



  • Script written by Greg Rucka: enjoy a story of mystery, humor and romance created by the winner of four Eisner Awards and renowned comic writer Greg Rucka.
  • Enhanced gameplay: new inventory systems and dialogues, thanks to the players' feedback in the first two episodes.
  • New locations: more varied backgrounds, sci-fi designs and more dynamic world than in AR-K 1 and 2. Much more quality to give life to District 8 places.
  • New charismatic characters ... and some already known in AR-K universe: a crazy scientist, a gambler and a lot of cardesians will join Alicia and Franky on his adventure through this adventure.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7/8/8.1
    • Processor: Intel/AMD Dual Core or similar
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X
    • Processor: Intel Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • Processor: Intell/AMD Dual Core or similar
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB
    • Storage: 4 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Positive (44 reviews)
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26 reviews match the filters above ( Positive)
Recently Posted
[ KSA ] falcon
2.6 hrs
Posted: August 16
Story : good
voice acting : not bad
animation : did not like it
Puzzles : not in this game
Graphics : strange but in a good way

overall : I liked it 3/5
Helpful? Yes No Funny
g0rd0
0.6 hrs
Posted: July 23
Insufferable.

A whiny little ♥♥♥♥♥ falls down a hole.

Then she can't splint her leg or limp two steps in the "dark" or use either of two available light sources. She deserves to die slowly.

Total ♥♥♥♥.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
lex
4.0 hrs
Posted: June 25
The first part of this adventure needs some love because it has some minor flaws but nothing to serious. The good part is, it only gets better and better! I had a lot of fun playing this game and I am surely looking out for the fourth part.
I can recommend this game to everyone who loves adventures, especially the 3rd part as about as good as an adventure can get :)

Highly recommended (and bare with the first part, its fun as well!)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hu$tl3r
2.6 hrs
Posted: May 29
It is way better then the first 2 episodes in any aspect. Menu's are better dialogs are better.
Also the main character is more likeable - good job !
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nocturnal Stalker
13.9 hrs
Posted: April 23
The creators of AR-K series, Gato Salvaje Studio, seem to improve with every coming chapter, and I dare to say that The Great Escape is so far the best of the three.
If you played the previous two chapters (and, if you didn't, there is not sense to start with the third one), you will meet some already familiar characters as well as many new (and interesting!) ones, discover more truth about the AR-K and the way it functions, as well as learn a secret of one of the important characters you already know. And you will even be able to solve the (cold) murder case.
As it's a continuation, you will likely enjoy this chapter a lot, if you liked its predecessors. If not, you should better look elsewhere, because, although the developers changed the interface a bit (definitely for the better!), the gaming process is the same. Just more and... better.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
EpicPacman
20.7 hrs
Posted: April 18
A lot better than the first episodes!
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
Much better than the previous installments, it's interesting to see how a developer grows. The plot thickens the characters become less cheesy and it seems like the story, graphics, and point-and-click-eyness has been refined. At first I was dissing the first episode, then I started liking the story in the second and now I can't wait to finish this series I'm digging the story. If you are a fan of the genre you'll definitely find a few things to enjoy.

Get it on sale maybe though as there are a few bugs and inconsitencies in dialogue and world-building.

3/5*'s, next game will be better I'm confident!
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
48 of 59 people (81%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2015
I recieved the codes for this game from the developer/publisher, but I did not receive payment for this review.

I firmly believe that the reason this game is sold separately from the previous two episodes is because it is of a much higher quality. DO NOT buy the first two episodes which are bundled together in AR-K. Unless you are a completionist that must have a complete series, really don't play the first two. This game begins with a "Previously on AR-K" and shows you all the cut scenes and dialogs from the last two episodes that you need to know. 6 hours you could waste on the first two episodes are summed up in a couple of minutes.
Now the good stuff: EVERYTHING I felt that made the first two episodes bad has been fixed. My compliments to the developers who know when to correct mistakes. The characters are much much more likable, the puzzles, while sometimes needing some thought, are not nonsensical. I didn't find this episode boring at all, and all the side missions served a definite purpose. The game looks great! I love how the colors pop. The voice acting is also great.
Believe it or not, I really can't think of any jarring negatives. This episode was a giant leap forward. If anything, this is the quality that should have been present in the first two episodes. It set up Episode 4 perfectly, and I can't wait to play it!
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32 of 34 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
18.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 17, 2015
It's great when you come to a game and it's a lot better than you thought it would be. While I enjoyed ar-k 1 and 2 and I do recommend those games to play first, this for me is a lot better - story, graphics, setting. The writing was very good and if you didn't want to read everything, you didn't need to click on that character's bit of conversation but could come back to it if you wanted. I liked the humour, and it was witty in parts. It is the perfect balance of not just a good story which is vital in an adventure game but also good interactive gameplay.

You continue to play as Alicia and thankfully she is more likable. In the first episode the OTT "I am a sexy vixen" coupled with a not nice attitude a lot of the times frankly put me off her and I didn't care what happened to her, but by the end of E1 this was mostly gone and here I actually cared and liked her.

The story continues from 1 & 2 and I loved how at the end of episodes there is just enough surprise or hook to keep you invested for the next epsiode, it is literally a cliffhanger ending (not resolved or tied up with bow) with all of them and this episode is the same.

I love the setting in this game (all new) and I got to solve a murder as well which was cool. There is also a transporter map so you aren't wasting time walking everywhere.

While you could play this on it's own I do think there would be too many unanswered questions (what is the sphere, why am I here etc) and I do think you need to play the first game (which has episodes 1& 2 in it) to know what is going on. There is a video intro at the beginning which is supposed to recap what has happened but I don't know why but the clips seemed out of sequence, and they could have done a lot better job of a recap, seemed very disjointed.

I loved the achievements in the first game, very imaginative and different but here it was mostly straightforward and some more unusual ones would have been fun. There is one though which I didn't see the point of and will be a bit annoying to do (worker one,) - so don't go by my final time re gameplay!

Thoroughly enjoyed it and I really look forward to the fourth and final episode. Thanks DEVS for a very good, fun point n click adventure game.
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22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2015
I'm not used to write long reviews, but I guess this great work deserves the effort.

I didn't like too much the first two chapters, so I wasn't going to buy this one. If I did was becuse of the 73% discount, and I must say it was a great deal.

Anyone can see the graphics are much better just comparing the screenshots, the gameplay was also improved (they took off that annoying inventory and made a better one), animations, STORY... Everything is much better than the first episodes. They really learned something about how to make a point-and-click game.

I'm really enjoying the story, in my opinion it's the most important part in a game like this. First chapters were too simple and a little boring, and the solution for a couple of puzzles was a real nonsense. This game is absolutely different, has a few characters that are GOLD (don't miss Phil the scientist, the little girl or Horn), balanced puzzles (some simpler and a few more complex) and a lot of hints about ARK that the first chapters lacked.

The game looks quite simple in the first scenes, but after the factory it brings a lot of different scenarios and interesting puzzles (I specially liked the murder). I would recomend the game even if you don't buy the first two chapters, this one alone is a great game (in fact, I would reccomend not to buy the first chapters).

Of course, it's not perfect, has a few flaws:
  • The "previously" video, that plays when you start the game is simply terrible. Long, boring and annoying. I think it's the heritance of the first part. The good news are that things can only go better from here.

  • The first screen has too many videos, the hospital has too much talking. After that the game finds the perfect balance, but I feel like these two scenes could be a little better.

  • Cardesians voices are soooo annoying!

Anyway, these are just a few cons that can't make this game bad. I think this is one of the best adventures I played in the last few years.

Good work, keep it for the 4th chapter!!
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 26, 2015
AR-K The Great Escape is the third installment in the AR-K series of point and click adventure games. It's a bit disappointing that the dev felt the need to switch to individual installments purchased separately rather than the episodic format of the first two games, but this game is an improvement in almost every aspect over the other two. To be honest, you could probably skip the first two episodes without much trouble and drop right in at The Great Escape and still have a great experience.

The story overall was interesting and had much more of a sense of direction to it. The story that the game is telling is nothing new in the sci-fi genre, but it's told well. Most of the characters are interesting and fun, and Alicia (the protagonist) is fleshing out to become a more likable character.

Voice acting is mostly great, all actors deliver their lines with believable emotion. However, the actors could have used a bit more direction in terms of pronouncing names and made-up terms correctly (the name of Franky's species comes to mind) so that the world feels a little more real. Additionally, the humour sometimes gets a little too self-referential (the conversation with the little girl about "female characters", the guy who tells you to "wait for Chapter Four") and there was one kind of unnecessary joke where the punch line is a male character disguising himself as a woman that might bother some people.

I enjoyed most of the puzzles a lot, particularly a great logic puzzle near the end (however the text in this puzzle could use a little native speaker proofreading). Most of the time I felt like I knew what I was doing and why, which is really all I ask.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 20, 2015
Really excellent game! I liked the first parts, too, but this really was excellent.

The graphics, dialogues and voice acting are all really first class. The gameplay mechanics have been greatly improved since the first game, as have the graphics (though I thought they were fine in the first game, too).

The biggest stand-out feature of the game is the humour - there are some lines that really made me laugh out loud. One of those lines is in the second scene - completely unexpected and hilarious.

The story gets really engaging and interesting now, and the supporting characters are a lot more involved in the story.

There are great twists and turns, and it's very well-structured.

I highly recommend this game and am looking forward to the next parts!
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 18, 2015
This game is part 3 of the series, and it has better overall polish than parts 1 and 2. In the first two installments, they established the setting and characters, though the game mechanics were not polished. The puzzles were troublesome more on account of a clumsy user interface, though this was in addition to the puzzles being somewhat obscure (i.e., just keep rubbing items together until something works).

Part 3 is a more satisfying, polished experience, in terms of plot structure, character motivations, puzzle logic, artwork, and user interface. If you want to skip parts 1 and 2, then all you need to understand for part 3 is the following:


-- SPOILERS --

The lead character (Alicia) was framed for having stolen a golden sphere, about the size of a softball. The sphere is a piece of high technology that can hold an electric charge. The origins of the sphere are unknown, though more is revealed in part 3.

Alicia has a love interest (Blaine) that works for a corporation that has an interest in the golden sphere.

Blaine has an ex-love interest whom also works for the corporation.

Alicia has a friend, Franky, who is essentially an alien minotaur. Though Franky was a minor supporting character in parts 1 and 2, he takes on a more important role in part 3.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
SHORT REVIEW:
- Score: 80/100
- Great Story, loved the setting and the characters.
- Centered around investigations and murder mysteries (instead of purely puzzles)
- Duration: about 3-4 hours for the first two chapters (using walkthrough) and 4 hours for the third chapter.
- I highly recommend playing chapter 1 and 2 using a walkthrough. Item combinations are sometimes hard to guess.
- Important Tip for Chapter 1 and 2: to use stuff from the inventory on the scene, you have to drag it to the lower left corner in order to get back to the screen (the inventory will close itself). At that point, the item can be dropped on the scene target to complete the action. This wasn't obvious to me and got stuck. I learned it thanks to a walkthrough.
- Chapter 3 is the best and most mature part of the game. Has the best game design and mechanics. Can be played without a walkthrough. Very enjoyable.
- I still recommend playing first two chapters first! However, it is possible to skip those and watch a story summary provided in the Chapter 3 game menu.

LONG REVIEW:

The Great Escape is the third chapter in this story. At the time of this writing, chapter 4 has not yet been released, but seems to be in the works as there is a reference to a fourth chapter in the story itself.

I've played the first three chapters consecutively so I'm going to review them all in one shot to give a better idea of the whole. Note: Chapter 1 and 2 are sold in a single package called "AR-K".

Summary:

The story is set in the AR-K, a giant autonomous space station on which a utopic society lives.

In Chapter 1, we meet journalism student Alicia and her dog Ambar and follow her in an investigation surrounding odd deliveries around the university campus. We learn that she originally intended to become a cop like her father, but had to resign due to unfair charges regarding a mysterious ball. It is during this investigation that she will cross path again with people that have a serious interest in possessing that ball. The chapter ends when the investigation article is submitted to the teacher.

In Chapter 2, we learn that the teacher has published the article under his own name. Although this is clearly unethical from the teacher's part, this comes as an advantage since he becomes the victim of uncomfortable attention from those seeking the ball. Alicia will use this opportunity to continue her investigation and track down who's behind this. During this investigation, she will uncover the existence of a society unknown to her called District 8 and she will eventually fall prey to a trap.

In Chapter 3, "the great escape", we uncover the harsh reality of District 8: it is a hidden part of the station where people live essentially as slaves so that the rest of the AR-K can live in utopia. As Alicia is forced into labor herself, she meets people that have been trapped there for a very long time. She will help them in order to gain their trust and will eventually escape District 8 with the intention of revealing its existence to the public living on the rest of the AR-K.

Chapter 4 has yet to be published, but I would expect a climax ending where Alicia finally reveals the truth to the world despite mass media manipulation by key members of the ruling class.


Game review

The story itself is great! I think the summary I wrote above pretty much shows how it is neatly broken down and is building up some momentum. This is, for me, the most important part of a game.

I think what I liked the most about the game storytelling mechanics was the cutscenes. The game stands apart from many point-and-click titles that i've played by using cutscenes whenever something important happens rather than relying solely on textual dialogue. We get a much better feeling of our characters that way.

Across the chapters, I also found that the game has evolved in terms of user friendliness. For example, in Chapter 2, a fast travel terminal system was added as well as a narrator designed to help the player by providing some clues. In Chapter 3, the inventory system has been reworked, dialogues can be skipped, a fast-travel map system has been added and the narrator has been replaced with a PDA. I think those were great improvements that were much needed. Chapter 3 has the best game design in my opinion.


Also in terms of design, I don't think I could have done Chapter 1 & 2 without using a walkthrough. I highly recommend playing those with a walkthrough. Chapter 3 was a lot easier to follow in my opinion. I still used a walkthrough but I didn't read it as much. I had fun walking on my own and trying the puzzles without peeking at the solution. My favourite part was the murder mystery we need to solve in order to get the trust of a District 8 policeman.


All in all, I think this was a great game and recommend it to everyone :)
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 11
A Point & Click Adventure
https://youtu.be/wXMHWsDg964
+ Great animated cutscenes
+ Some very nice voice acting (especially the main character Alicia)
+ Interesting story plot and dialogue with some genuinely funny vulgur moments
+ Visually the game environments look well detailed and cutscenes look very nice

- Like with many point & click games, it can be easy to get stuck or lost unsure of what to do next so you may have to reference a guide which I personally find distasteful in games.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
20.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 8
This is one of my favorite games of all time. I just love the characters and their humor. The music is beautiful, I think i've spent more than two hours at Grigor's house just listening to the music. I got to say that I'm really in to the story and I love every aspect of it. I just can't wait for episode 4.
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