Very long and challenging
Game can be saved at anywhere
Controls a little unresponsive
onEscapee is an action/adventure game similar to other popular titles such as Flashback and Another World, and fans of those should enjoy it. Featuring a mix of headache-inducing puzzles and all sorts of enemies for you to kill, showcased with excellent graphics and ambience music, onEscapee will keep you hooked for hours.
The game starts you off with a very charming intro, so you know what's going on. People from Earth have been mysteriously vanishing, without a trace, supposedly kidnapped by a recently met alien civilization, though there's no proof. One day, they come for you (the hero). They break into your home, knock you out and take you to their planet on their craft, disguised as a plain old car. However, during the trip, you wake up without them noticing, and try to struggle free, eventually knocking out the pilot and causing the ship to go out of control and crash in the alien city. You and the alien occupants are considered dead and the ship is taken to a junkyard. But, you are still alive. You're the one escapee (hence the game name). And the game begins.
There's a help screen which will explain the game's controls (simply the arrow keys and Shift), showing you the respective character animation for each key combination, so you should have no problem getting started. Sometimes the controls can be a bit unresponsive, which can get frustrating; for instance, when you have to time a jump just right. The Shift key is used both for running and shooting, so sometimes you may find yourself shooting when you wanted to run, and vice-versa, but you'll eventually get the hang of it.
You can save at any point during the game, so you can easily try again without having to start all over. The game contains 12 save slots and also stores a screen for each saved game. A note about saving though: the game doesn't save the exact moment you're on, but only the moment you enter the screen you're on. So, for instance, if you kill all the enemies on a screen, you have to first leave the screen and then save, if you want to save your kills. Otherwise you'll find yourself having to kill those enemies over and over again every time you load. If this doesn't make sense to you don't worry, you'll figure it out when you try it.
The game features beautiful hand-drawn graphics and animations. There's a huge variety of backgrounds and sprites featuring very smooth animations, the main character having over 1100 frames of animation. You'll also notice from the beginning cool graphical effects like rain, reflecting puddles, moving beams of light with lens flares and other such, all contributing to a much nicer and charming experience.
The background music is also something very pleasing to the ears. Sometimes you may need designer replica handbags for youself. The game features 32 different tracks spread out throughout the levels and puzzles which set the mood and ambience of the game, and if you're a game music fanatic like me you'll quickly find yourself playing the music even outside of the game (its in mp3 format and easy to reach).
The sound effects are also good, though nothing out of the ordinary, but you won't find this game a quiet one.
On to the gameplay. At first the game is pretty easy, taking you through simple challenges and puzzles to get you used to it, but as you move on the pace quickly increases, as you'll start finding less puzzles and more action where you have to keep moving and shooting otherwise you'll be easily killed. Even so, the game is very challenging from the start. You'll find yourself walking around the junkyard trying to figure out what to do, but you can't hang around thinking all day, as a cleanup ship is following you and will take the first chance it can to zap you. You'll need both some fast thinking and quick controlling if you want to escape in one piece.
The puzzles can vary drastically in difficulty. Most of the time you'll find yourself randomly trying stuff and see what happens, in the hope you'll get past some sort of creature blocking your path, but end up getting killed by it. You'll need a lot of patience and an open mind to get through these puzzles, as the solution usually isn't the obvious one and you'll find yourself dying a whole lot before you get it right (the save feature is very handy here). Always remember to pick up anything that seems to "light up" and to write down any sort of codes you get. They're there for a reason and you don't want to get stuck on a puzzle and have to backtrack to be able to complete it. There are also some full-screen puzzles where you use your mouse and don't have to worry about dying or perfect timing, but rather about having a lot of patience and time on your hands to complete them.
The action aspect is pretty simple. As soon you have a gun you'll be able to shoot and kill the various enemies that will pop up further into the game. Some of the enemies stop and fire back, some run towards you and kill you instantly as soon as they touch you (suicidal) and some are invincible and the best you can do is avoid them. The basic rule is: anything that moves is your enemy, and sometimes things that don't move as well. The gun is also useful for some puzzles, but I won't spoil anything. With the gun you also get a basic shield which can protect you from enemy fire but that's all it protects you from, so you can consider it rather useless. One of the neat things about the game is that every single way of dying has its own death scene. You'd expect just some generic "game over" screen but no; while some can be pretty horrific, others are fun to watch.
Overall, onEscapee is a very well made game with few flaw,s which should grab the attention of both action and adventure gamers. The game is very long and challenging so expect to be completely addicted to it for several days. You might get very frustrated at some puzzles and eventually give up and quit, but you'll soon find yourself going back and trying again.
Review by: SupSuper
Violence, sometimes horrific death scenes
Safe for ages: 15+
VGA/SVGA video card
Keyboard or Joystick
Windows 9x or above.