Runaway: A Twist of Fate
Sometimes you have to fall before you can soar to true heights. At least that phrase fits the newest part of the Runaway franchise perfectly. This had reached its low point after the surprise hit in 2002 with the successor. The puzzles were more than just confusing and the disappointing ending with its cruel cliffhanger caused true head-shaking orgies for many players. At least they listened to the great closing speech of protagonist Brian, who wanted to set out to free his girlfriend Gina from the clutches of the crazy Colonel Kordsmeier, only to see the credits a few seconds later. Who wouldn’t be pissed off?
Meanwhile, another three years have passed and the guys from Pendulo have learned from their mistakes. This time, all the loose threads are braided into a coherent ending that should not disappoint any fan. The story of the game begins shortly after the events of the second part. In a flashback, you learn that Brian is being brought to justice for the alleged murder of Colonel Kordsmeier. Unfortunately, because of his amnesia, he can’t remember anything, which is why he was sent to the Happy Dale insane asylum. There he is said to have died while trying to escape.
You heard right. Even the entry into the game is terrific with such a claim and quickly creates the desire for answers, which you will get in time. But who do you control if Brian is no longer available? Gina, of course. For the first time you can play the brunette beauty and crack numerous heads with her. But Brian is not completely absent either. With him you experience the flashbacks in which you learn his part of the story. It is a clever narrative that manages to keep the tension stable throughout the entire course of the game.
But we finally come to the main focus of every adventure: the puzzles. As already indicated at the beginning, these were sometimes very absurd in the previous adventure and even after they were solved they still made people smoke, because you still didn’t know why the combinations worked now. Thank goodness the developers took the criticism to heart and worked properly on the tasks. Each puzzle is coherent and understandable. Every task that the game throws at your feet can be solved with logic and a little thought. In addition, the makers have really worked hard and designed some creative brain teasers.
A good example is a tricky puzzle right at the beginning. Here you have to convince a ghost hunter in a cemetery that the undead are peaceful so that she can help you. To find out, she put a powerful temperature gauge in the chapel. Because friendly spirits show themselves through a sudden cold fluctuation in the environment. Therefore you now need something to influence the measuring device. After you have combined a few items in the old point & click manner, you are in possession of a glove filled with water that you just have to put in a freezer at the caretaker’s. So that the ice does not melt, you put it in a container full of water and finally you pack the whole thing under the measuring device. And already the ghost hunter thinks they are good-natured ghost figures.
Another thing to emphasize is the fact that you always know what to do next. While in some adventures you get more problems with the actual task search than the puzzles, Runaway: A Twist of Fate sets a clear goal in mind with each new chapter. In the first flashback, for example, it is reaching the locked poker room so that you can get to the ventilation shaft there, which will help you to escape. Otherwise no unnecessary obstacles will be put in your way. The level of difficulty is not set very low and beginners in particular will stumble in the first chapters. However, there are a few nice aids in the game. In addition to a standard hotspot function that shows you all selectable objects and exits, there is a button that connects you to the virtual development studio, which offers you direct help.