Amiga Flame - Game Reviews - OnEscapee


Price:29.95 UK Pounds Developer/Publisher: Invictus Team/ Sadeness Software Requirements: CD-Rom only

OnEscapee is a action adventure which has been under development for over two years and it shows. It is Sadeness Software's first Amiga Game release and we will be seeing more of them 1998. I am sure you are already aware that OnEscapee has been awarded with the title "Best Game of 1997". In this review I'll be looking why.

Very nice visuals
It's a game that you can easily realise and see for yourself the intense work they have put into it. The presentation is top notch even down to the packaging but just by running the CD you'll think you've entered into a whole new world. The Intro is more like a movie all you need is the popcorn.

The first thing that hit me in the Introduction is the atmospheric music and sound effects combined with the depth of graphics and animation - it's mindblowing stuff and if you've bought it already you'll know exactly what I mean for you just keep replying playing it over and over again. Lasting just over five minutes it shows a Alien ship leaving it's planet and going to Earth where you get to see a bit of the landscape including the city, once the ship arrives within the city it turns into a car. Upon arriving outside a house they break in and a fight occurrs between the occupant with him getting abducted. This fight is showed in a photographic style (as if someone is taking photos of the fight). The man tries to escape from the car causing them to crash it off the edge of a bridge but then it turns back into the Alien ship. However it then crash lands after apparently hitting the shields of the Alien city. Your player, Daniel White survives and it appears that the wreck has been moved to the Dumping Grounds with Daniel not being noticed.

Now use the Alien ship to blow up wreck of the craft to uncover a hole to Stage 2
The menu has a number of options, mainly the usual stuff but a vital option is Help for it Shows and explains how to do the various moves of your charactor. Check this before jumping into the game.

Stage 1 is called the Dumping Grounds and leads straight on from the Intro and it turns out you have got out only to find another Alien ship that's hell-bent on blasting you. It's time to run and the developers have designed this part so you can learn some of the basic but yet important moves of your charactor. If you don't learn quickly you'll get blasted and it'll be all over before it really even started. Stage 2, The Quarry Cave has plenty of obstactles or creatures that want to eat you or stop you in your tracks. You'll find that to get further you need to step back and think about it carefully, going mindly into something is not clever. The types of creatures you'll come across can include moving viles (just dodge them), Strange creatures that hang from the roof and try to grab anything that goes under them (I got a fright in later on when I got close to one that swan out at me and grabbed me in the head - don't expect the same type of creatures to do the same thing), Acid blood dripping from a corpse on the ceiling, large spiders and if you get close enough you get to see the fangers, and this is only some of the first creatures you'll across in the first two stages. Watch out for some can really make you jump especially the ones lurking in the shadows.

I won't spoil OnEscapee by reveiling too much for when you buy it and play it you easily get a sense of achievement that beckons you to get more. Eventually you can become obsessed with wanting to discover more and complete the entire game. It arrived before Christmas and I spend most of Christmas playing it non-stop, so much for me doing the usual festive things.

Unfortunately for me to provide you with a full review, I had to check out all the levels by using Saved Games sent to me for reviewing purposes - so I had it spoilt. But it is shocking to see how they have been able to create new enemies without having to repeat the same ones all the time which is seen in many other games, I think it brings you much excitement to see something new each time, you really don't know what to expect.

For example in stage 2, I got stuck trying to get by some strange plant tangling from the ceiling with snakes that would sting you in the neck and then a huge creature would come out of a hole beside the plant and eat me up. It got to the point that I just cound not figure it out and so I fired my laser gun and all of sudden one of the bushes starts moving (it was a creature). The laser gun scared it backwards and so it moved below the plant, shooting the animal it exploded and the snake went back into the plant allowing me to go by. How about that for discovering the unexpected - incredible.

You got to be prepared for some of the most strangest, unexpected methods of getting pass obstacles, you got to use your imagination as they have and sometimes it works by just trying it out. The River and Sea section was my favourite and it was graphically stunning, the design has been taken with the utmost care from the reflections in the water to the birds flying and squealing in the sky above. The swimming controls are easy enough to use and it doesn't take long to figure how to change direction but you got to remember that your oxygen won't last forever so every second counts.

Obstacles can take time to pass but I've got by both of these already
The death scenes in OnEscapee deseve a mention in this review for it's got to have most scenes of the various ways you can be killed in this game from the simple ways like falling down a cliff or lift shaft, to getting eaten or blasted by robots and even drowning. When you get killed your sure to see a new scene of your horrible death.

There are six stages in all; the Dumping Grounds, The Quarry Cave which is broken into two parts, Base Section where the enemies become even more intelligent, In The City which has dark side streets with danger coming in some very different ways, the Space Dock is very large with much of your time being spend running around just becareful of what you run into.

The hard part of this review is too find something wrong or bad with this game, the only problem I came across was the fact that it's not easy and you'll need to Save the Game alot but really that's the challenge of it. You wouldn't want it easy.

Everything you see and hear plays a part in this huge game that has been made cunningly with much thought and implemented to precise detail. I hope there will be a sequel - OnEscapee is the Best Game Of 1997.

Graphics 95% - "It's like being in a movie, it works well with the Gameplay"
Playability 94% - "Simple to play with plenty of moves"
Sound 94%- "The atmosphere makes the scenes tense and scary"
Addiction 95% - "It arrived just before Christmas and I played it all over Christmas, even Christmas Day. It's hard not to play."
Lastability 94% - "This game challenges your mind and it's be a joy and an achievement to discover more"

Overall 95%
"Everything from the Graphics to Gameplay have been designed to work together, to create a game of near perfection."

Amiga Flame Star
of Excellence


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