Runaway, Dream of the Turtle is the second installation after Runaway , Road adventure which I also played. Those games are made in the typical point and click adventure styles which was made famous by classics like Monkey Island or day of the tentacles in the 90s. Those games with some others made in the 90's are seen as the pinacle of adventure games, with their smart puzzles, great stories and humour, a golden age which is gone. Although adventure games are not as numerous or famous as they once were, they are still around in the new millineum with various grades of quality and enjoyment.
Runaway , Dream of the Turtle, developped in 2006 is made in this spirit, a new take on adventure games with better graphics and newer functionality . I liked Road adventure , the first Runaway, well enough and it seemed Pendulo which developped the game had even more ressources to make this game, with better graphics (2,5 D animations some places) , nice, cartoony and longer cutscenes, more characters and longer story than before.
But I rather think this game is inferior to the first for several reasons:
Where to start? the main character, Brian Basco, which was sympathic if not very interesting in the first installement, has become a arrogant douchey prancing in eurotrash cargo pants with a goatee on top of being boring and annoying. As a main character, he is also not a very nice person. During the game he basically two-times his girlfriend (who he is supposed to save) with the local bimbo on an island, then he litteraly pimps out his newfound lover in order to advance the plot, very classy. On another instance he throw a character who actually wanted to help him litterally into the arms of an lustful polar bear, for an unclear destiny of either being maimed or violently violated. He might have gone away with it if the scene was funny, but it wasn't , my reaction was of pity and discuss mainly...
He get a little less annoying by the end of the game, but it's too little too late...
The other characters which help or counter our "hero" are not much better,it's a mixed bunch of annoying and forgettable clichè characters , some of them are bearable. in a few instances they might bring a smile on your lips, but don't expect much. The ones that are really annoying like Joshua will make you cringe, just think of something nice while they are in a scene...
Honestly for a game from 2006, they're pretty good, the backgrounds are colourful and diverse and save the whole game from being a complete chore. The characters if you look away from their personality are cartoony and nicely done, my main critic is how frozen they look and how unnatural they're moving around. You could get away with it in 1994 when everything was pizelated, but I kind of expected better animations from the 2000's. The sounds and music are forgettable but ok.
Nothing revolutionnary here, the normal point and click routine. While some of the puzzles are ok both in complexity and logic, some others are really hard and arcane, and you end up trying all kind of combination or to save time and your nerves, check a walkthrough.
In few instances I manage to solve a puzzle by luck , I couldn't help but feel bewildered by the unlogic solution. Other times , the whole setting didn't make sence, like when you have to solve a rather complex chains of events to get a measly notebook from another character while roaming in a huge and expensive multimillions dollars yacht full of expensive stuff.
To be honest the puzzles in the game are no worse than in many other middle of the road adventure games, but they're not better either, if you put on top of that a rather unlikable main character and annoying surroundings, it just makes thing worse.
The story and dialogs
The story is rather forgettable and not especially intersesting, which would have been ok with good characters and nice and witty dialogues, but Runaway , The Dream of the Turtle has none of that. It could have been if the writers had put more time in designing their characters to be more interessting and put some humour in the game through the dialogues. But instead we've get one liners that aren't even remotely funny and strange situations that don't make sence, since they were intended to be humourous but weren't.
The creative minds behind this game this put some effort in putting most of the poor female characters in vaguely sexy skimpy outfit , probably to appeal to the more juvenile segment of the player with a bit of softcore . But it end up giving the game an almost mysoginistic feel since most female characters end up being just eyecandies at some level.
It's definitively not the worse adventure game out there, but it's really not among the best, it's barely mediocre. I didn't hate playing it, but I definitively won't repeat the feat. The sad thing is that it could have been a lot better if they had put better writers to bring up more interesting characters with better and humourous dialogues.