New York, 2000... ...Without knowing how or why, Brian, a student on the verge of graduating from college, is attacked by Mafia gangsters. During his desperate getaway, in the company of a mysterious striptease dancer, he ends up meeting a wide range of unusual characters.
User reviews: Very Positive (104 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 18, 2003
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Includes 5 items: Runaway, A Road Adventure, Runaway, The Dream of The Turtle, Runaway: A Twist of Fate, The Next BIG Thing, Yesterday

 

About This Game

New York, 2000...
...Without knowing how or why, Brian, a student on the verge of graduating from college, is attacked by Mafia gangsters.
During his desperate getaway, in the company of a mysterious striptease dancer, he ends up meeting a wide range of unusual characters. But which ones are trying to help him and which ones are planning to blow his head off?
You will have to be very ingenious to figure it out, without forgetting that nobody is who they seem in this explosive mixture of murder, money, ambition, santeria rituals and deception...a whole lot of deception.
  • Approximately 100 settings that are visually rich, containing 30 interactive characters.
  • Characters with soft edges, real-time lighting and shading effects, camera changes, panoramic shots and more.
  • High-quality stereo sound, an original soundtrack with over 24 songs.
  • 3D characters with a cartoon look and high-impact visual features that include 2D and 3D in an unmatchable style.

System Requirements

    Minimum: Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP, Pentium™ 200 MMX, 64 MB RAM, 630 MB hard disk drive, Monitor and graphics card (DirectX™ compatible) with support for 1024x768 and 16-bit color, DirectX™ compatible sound card, Mouse and keyboard
Helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
Runaway: A Road Adventure is a point-and-click (P&C) adventure game which, by design, it is no more than your typical P&C game from the ‘90s.

The story centres around Brian Basco, an initially shy and nerdy Physics graduate from New York whose life totally changes the moment he almost runs over an admittedly hot chick, Gina Timmins, with his car. Could this be faith? Taking her quickly to the hospital, Brian soon finds out that the mafia gang is after her as a result of possessing an enigmatic crucifix given by her father which she pledged to protect. From here on out, it is knowable what is about to happen and is already hinted in the title itself: become runaways chased by the mafia whilst trying to decipher the mystery behind the crucifix.

While the set up already sounds painfully cheesy, enough to put it next to your minty collection of B-movies from the ‘80s, the overall story is actually decent for an adventure game once you witness the conclusion at the end. In fact most of the story’s writing is corny, but feels shamelessly light-hearted. Split into six chapters, it becomes evident after the second chapter that the story itself is something which must not be taken too seriously – in a good way. It can be wacky (like some of the extravagant support characters) and ridiculous at times (I lost it at the “abduction” part), weirdly making it a very amusing, yet silly, experience. The story builds up well as the game progress, but loses some steam about the second last chapter. It provides several funny moments, but there will be a debate on whether this is because they are intelligently funny or because they are so bluntly stereotypical, corny and a bit sexist. Kind of like laughing at a joke which seemed good on paper but was abysmally delivered. When the story does get serious, it can feel like you are playing a low-budget Broken Sword game. And there is plenty inspiration taken from the first two Broken Sword games displayed in here.

Runaway: A Road Adventure is possibly one of the hardest adventure games you will ever play when it comes to solving puzzles. This can either turn into one of the most satisfying moments of the day when you singlehandedly discover the solution to a challenging puzzle, or the most induced rage you will ever exhibit. In general, the puzzles are mostly logical and varied especially in the first few chapters. Conversely, they are exceptionally unintuitive and require a lot of pixel-hunting. A lot. This will be the thing which will turn off most people, but if you are patient and like actual challenges, then this will be rewarding because the puzzles are truly enjoyable -- a bit absurd and scientifically inaccurate at times though -- once you realise their solutions. Obviously, there are still some awful puzzles which require a lot of backtracking for instance, mainly in the second last chapter. Honestly, that chapter was not well designed from a puzzle solving point of view. An advice is to have a walkthrough next to you just in case you get completely stuck at any point. Also, minor puzzle spoiler: getting high is a solution to one of the puzzles. Greatest puzzle ever?

The graphics are impressive in respect to the hand-drawn backgrounds, which might be the main reason why anyone would be attracted by this game in the first place. There is a variety of nicely drawn locations the player can visit, although the last three chapters are featured in the same dessert setting, so it can be argued that it loses some of its magic in the second half. Sadly, the animations in this game are subpar. The closer the camera is to a character model, the uglier they get. This ugliness can range from realising how bland the models are to their very static facial movements. Similar moments are also noticeable in many of the game’s CGI cutscenes which can be a bit horrific to watch. For instance, there is a particular animation of Gina crawling on the ground which looks dreadfully creepy. Thus, retrospectively, the animations did not age well. Rewind eleven years back, I would probably have been happy with them.

The voice acting is a mixed bag. It is average at best, but enough not to harm the playtime experience. On the other hand, the more hours you sink into the game the more you will get comfortable hearing the voices. Sadly, that is not applicable for some of the support characters who simply make you beg to turn off the audio completely in an instant. Inevitably there will be two or three characters which turn out to sound annoying, not necessarily because of the voice actor’s capabilities but the way some deliver their lines – intentionally over-the-top. The audio compression is also poor, making the dialogues sound fuzzy at times. And this, if you did not know, is not an adventure game from the mid-‘90s which all sounded as if the voices were recorded in a tin can back then. Frankly, the fuzziness is not distracting at all, but rather noticeable when characters talk. Lastly, the soundtrack is solid, without a disappointing track.

One personal annoyance is Gina’s portrayal and lack of involvement in the game. Most of time she is either unconscious, kept locked as a hostage or unable to move due to injury making her useless in helping Brian in any of his tasks. Honestly, she is a pathetic damsel in distress with some admirable “assets”. Thankfully, there are signs of personality and humanness to her character than it meets the eye by the end of the duo's adventure. Yet, she lacked any solid character development throughout most of the story, giving little reason to feel attached to her as a character.

In conclusion, Runaway: A Road Adventure is an adventure game which you will either love for superbly replicating that old-school and wacky feel of classic adventure games -- or hate for its unintuitive puzzles and low production values in the audio and animation departments in particular. Unlike more modern adventure games with damsels in distress, such as Deponia which shares almost the same critical flaws, Runaway: A Road Adventure has a lot more charm. Maybe because it does not take itself too seriously, just the way Monkey Island was more of a comedy-oriented adventure game (of course, the latter had top-notch production values which outshine Runaway in all aspects). Regardless, while there is a lot of room for improvement, the story alone provides enough inceptive to invest time into this adventure until the end if you like wacky fast-ride adventures.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Pros: Fairly fluid user controls/interface- it's easy to acclimate to fast. The digital-animation-on-illustrated-backgrounds art direction is relatively unique- and sometimes quite nice. It's generally pretty entertaining. It encourages the player to actually want to solve the mysteries. It's a decently good low to mid-level length for a casual player. [Ignore my time played, I left the game running while away] The music is certainly interesting. It can be frankly hilarious in that unintentional, truly bad B-movie way.

Cons: The animation itself is laughable- sort of a pro and a con. Even for the time period, it's pretty bad. The story line has a plethora of holes and issues if you pay much attention. There are nigh-endless amounts of rampant racism and sexism. The main character isn't actually very likable: not as smart as he should be for his background, not as good or nice of a person as he's touted as, not a bad or tricky enough person to be much fun otherwise. I actually actively disliked him- not so great. The 'science' that happens in the puzzles is often hilariously nonsensical. A lot of the 'twists' are predictable. It can get fairly pixel-hunt-y at times.

Overall, I'd recommend this to anyone a bit older who's looking for a casual, silly, fast ride of the adventure-game type. It'll be no fun if it's taken too seriously- and I could see it being quite annoying and super offensive for some. It's not for kids. If you're looking for anything like Monkey Island, don't bother.
Personally, I didn't deplore it, but I certainly didn't love it, either. I would settle for 'It definitely filled my time and kept me amused, but wow that really wasn't very good.' It's hard for me to flat out say if I'd reccommend it or not- I would, but only for specific types of players.
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5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
Do you like point and click games? Me too!

Do you like pixel hunts? Do you like not being able to solve a puzzle because you clicked the nail on the hammer instead of the hammer on the nail? Do you like strong female protagonists who become incapacitated every five minutes so that the male lead can save them? Do you like to play as a bro-ish, self entitled cis male who uses people and lies, but thinks he's an outstanding dude? Do you like racial stereotypes? Me neither.

I love this genre and try never to look at the walkthrough, but I found this such an unpleasant experience that I stopped even caring towards the end. Often, they relied on intense pixel hunting--in one instance you actually go to the desert and have to pick up a specific rock. Some puzzles rely on truly obscure knowledge, like how you can theoretically get extra life out of a battery by exposing it to extreme cold.

I don't want to ramble. Point is, this game isn't merely "not good", it's bad. I found it painful, and Steam has plenty of alternatives in the same price range.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Listening to the narration of this game was like hammering a whiny, high-pitched spike into my skull. It was so bad that I was unable to actually play the game, as I couldn't make it past the second interruption by the narrator without alt-tabbing and shutting off the game. Why it was considered a good idea to begin the game with a pointless monologue by the most dislikeable character conceivable, I do not know.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
Honestly, who gave this poorly made game a thumb up?
First of all, I had to switch to 1024x768 every time I wanted to play it. But that would be a small price to pay if the game was good. Sadly, it isn't. From one dimensional characters, via uninteresting and full of cliches story, to irritating controls and pixel hunting type of gameplay. There is not much positive to say about Runaway. There are moments when you'll curl up in your chair out of embarrassement. Half way through the game there is this huge WTF moment when you realise how bad the game really is. I truly believe a 5 year old is able to put up a better story and more interesting characters than this. But even if you're not into story and characters, etc, you won't have good time playing the "point and click" moments - the inventory combination choices are unintuitive and sometimes downright stupid. The game requires you to use objects on people without any prior clue whatsoever. You might as well use every item on every person and see if you've hit the bullseye. You will easily miss items - you will eventually feel like electrons in CRT monitors - scanning from left to right towards the bottom of the screen. Or you could just alt+tab to a walkthrough - the old fashioned way.
I stopped playing it after realising this game has farily little entertainment value. So little that I can't remember the main character's name. His supposed transformation from a nerd to a cool guy will make you cry "Oh why did I spent money on this!". Trust me, I'm a doctor.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
A really crap game as point & click game but with a good history that worth like a good thing. Good graphics, fun and with good characthers. You'll have a lot of problems solving or trying to click the right spot to progress after solving... really really annoying. Count to 10, try again and again and again.
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0 of 4 people (0%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
Recommend
Was this review helpful? Yes No
10.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
What a weird title. Why is the main character so serious? I have only played this entry so far and I have to say, the game has some amazing moments. You know what it reminds me of though? Those old 90s educational games with a adult theme. You know, like Disney's Animated Storybook series or Math Blaster? Yeah, those...
Was this review helpful? Yes No
15.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
This style of game is what I like. This had an interesting story and some pretty interesting puzzles to figure out. I will admit it could have been better.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
Decent artwork is only plus. Point and click ( not my kind) ~ Unique objectives which are not revealed, difficult even with a walkthrough ~ Clueless ~ Boring - 5/10
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
There is a puzzle in this game where the solution requires you to have had the foresight to predict that a tranvestite black woman used to be a basketball player without the game indicating this may have the been the case. Unless of course the assumption relies on racial stereotyping? This game was silly unintentionally hilarious garbage, but I have never laughed so hard at, (although I do mean AT) an adventure game as much as I had this one. To be fair, most of the puzzles are usually pretty reasonable, but the occasional leap in logic plus the game's overall very corny writing make this a work of art in the genre of funny shlock. Would recommend to anyone who likes that sort of thing. I know I do.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Runaway, A Road Adventure, is a point and click adventure game from Pendulo studios. It is the first game in the Runaway series. Action begins in New York City, and takes you for a cross country road trip as you uncover the secrets behind a Hopi artifact while trying to avoid mob hitmen hot on your trail.

With point and click adventure games, two of the most important aspects are the story and the puzzles. The story in Runaway is gripping enough to keep you interested throughout. As the story progresses, you will uncover more and more about the artifact, while also coming up with daring rescue and escape plans to keep yourself and Gina safe from the mob. It is not without its flaws, however. A lot of the story could be described as White Knight, the game. You play a nerdy student named Brian who almost immediately falls in love with Gina, and will do anything for her. As a player, you don't have much interaction with Gina, since she disappears for one reason or another after the beginning cutscene of almost every chapter. So, sometimes you ask yourself why he is bothering to do all this stuff for her. Even though he has these feelings for her, at one point he is very quickly willing to give her up for lost, which did not gel with all of his actions to that point. It was a little confusing, and made me think that the main character is a little fickle with his emotions. The overall payoff of the story was good, and worth seeing through to the end. There is even a small set up for another game if you stick through to watch after the end credits.

The puzzles do not live up to the quality of the story. I had some issues with the fact that you will need to search through certain areas multiple times to find all the objects they contain. At one point, a bag contains three items you need, but you can only find one item at a time as the story progresses. There is also a puzzle that makes you transition through multiple scenes 5 times just to solve, which seemed like busy work after a while. For the most part, I found that a lot of the puzzles used "adventure game logic", meaning that you will be using a lot of items in illogical ways to proceed. Nothing as bad as a cat hair mustache, but a lot of things along that line. The good thing is that you can't really fail, and the characters you can speak to will give you hints sometimes to point you in the right direction. So, sometimes you just have to keep plugging along until you figure everything out.

The graphics are a bit of a mixed bag. The backgrounds for the most part are very detailed and well done. The first part of the game will have you going between a variety of areas, and you don't know where you will end of next. The entire second half of the game takes place in the desert, and while they try to mix it up by giving you lots of areas to explore, it can get rather repetitive. The characters have a cartoonish feel to them, and look generally well drawn during gameplay. The cutscenes have a noticeable drop in quality, with character faces lacking a lot of detail. Also, why do Brian's shorts have to be so short for the second half of the game?

Voice acting is not great but not terrible either. It won't distract you from enjoying the game, but I felt like sometimes there was a good amount of emotion lacking in the lines. The were some songs written specifically for this game, and one song in particular you will probably hear so much that you will get sick of.

Controls follow the basic point and click model. Left click to move, double click on an exit to travel quickly, right click to switch between look and grab. The inventory can be accessed at the top of the screen. Sometimes it was a little difficult to find the exact pixel you had to be on to interact with an object, but that only happened a few times.

Overall, I would recommend this game, but just barely. The story was enough to overcome the flaws with the puzzles, and while the art wasn't amazing to look at, it kept me interested. I was entertained enough that I want to check out the sequel.

Grade: C
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
This is a great point and click adventure, a real visual story that actually feels like I am interacting with it rather than some titles which simply have you play eye-spy for certain objects.
An engaging story with fun and complex puzzles, I picked this up during the Summer Sale, fell in love with it and bought the entire Runaway series.
If you haven't checked out any of the work from Pendulo studios, I recommend starting with Runaway: A Road Adventure

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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
A nice little point and click series. Not the best out there, put worth a play if you like the genre.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
Suprisingly good game
has a bit of everything in it love the art.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
As a veteran of point-and-click games I eventually had to pick this one up (part of an heavily discounted Pendulo Adventure Pack). I have played plenty of games from the genre and they all come with their flaws and thankfully have their respective merits. Long story short - I had yet to play an adventure game I didnt enjoy. Had...

Honestly, I could never really get into this game. From the first room I ran into trouble progressing. It is no news that some adevnture games contain illogical or infuriating puzzles, but usually you get the hang of it by carefully reading the dialogue and/or exploring. I had to heavily use a guide, when I usually refuse to use guides at all, as they destroy the purpose of those games but in the end I prefer it over examinating every pixel in every room every time you progress a little bit. When you can only progress by trial and error, fun gets work and finishing this one was alot of work.
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2 of 6 people (33%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 4
Short version: 68%
The game has astounding visuals with bad voiceover, needlessly overcomplicated puzzles and a plot that is bad until the last act, when it turns quite good. It’s not really worth the full price the publisher asks, but on a sale it can be a decent grab, if you are ready to use a walkthrough to complete an adventure game.

Long version:
Runaway: A Road Adventure is one of the most well-known titles from the start of the millennium that tried to revive the point-and-click adventure genre outside of the more and more obscure indie game market of the time. The game stood out with its spectacular, lushly coloured hand-drawn backgrounds and cell-shaded 3D characters. (The latter technology was a big rage at the time.)

Sadly, apparently that’s where most of game budget and design hours went: the visuals. Because the game seriously lacks in almost everything else.

While the soundtrack is decent and the main theme is really catching (albeit a bit dated after more than a decade), the sound effects are subpar and the voice acting ranges from bad to painfully terrible; it’s sometimes worse than in some free indie adventure games from that time.

But this would be a minor problem if the story is good and the puzzles are entertaining. But no, Runaway fails in both of these. The story is incoherent and jumps all around the place, sometimes taking turns out of the blue with no rhyme or reason as if the writer just got bored with a plotline and instantly started a new.

The puzzles are beyond Gabriel Knight 3 level of convoluted and illogical. Just to give you a vague example: in order to ask the local strong guy to help you against some thugs, you must help an absurdly offensive racial stereotype to get abducted by aliens, just so you can distract an artist so you can steal his water and fire up a railroad engine which has been derailed more than a hundred years ago. And this is one of the mild puzzles of the game. And even if you figure out a solution or use a walkthrough, the game simply refuses to accept any puzzle solutions until some additional conditions are met, including failing the puzzle on purpose or simply looking at an object another time.

So why the thumbs up? Because the game has one saving grace besides the visuals, and that’s the only major plot twist that comes around three-quarters in the story. And after that point the game turns into a simple crime novel with a well-defined goal. And the plot finally straightens up and leads to a satisfying and decent conclusion.
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
corney good point n click fun
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3 of 9 people (33%) found this review helpful
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
I played this game so you don't ever have to.

SPOILERS AHEAD

A beautiful but largely unplayable point & click adventure. This game suffers severely from illogical puzzles and unobvious click targets. While the scenes are quite pretty, they're typically poorly designed with regard to contrast for item discovery. You're often left to hover your pointer over every pixel on screen in order to find that one elusive item that must be in the room but doesn't stand out. There's also way too many "red herrings," scenery items you can have your character interact with but which never present a use. Then there's just bizzare item combinations and uses (not even comically), like (SPOILERS) making fake peanut butter when you've already got a jar of the real deal, or tinting a characters glasses with oil to trick them into giving you a bottle of...oil, or fishing a tool out of a trough of mud not by scooping it out with the bowl in your inventory, but by dropping in a flower pot from the second floor!

Also the protagonist comes off as a jerk.

As a lover of point & clicks I can't recommend anyone ever play this game.
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1 of 6 people (17%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
Random actions and item combinations, even for an adventure game, and tiny item hotspots made certain I had a walkthrough handy for most of this game.
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