Runaway: A Twist of Fate concludes the Runaway trilogy, giving it a worthy ending. There are already plenty of good reviews, so I'll just leave some short remarks.
As for the trilogy, this is by far it's best part. Part 1 had absolutely awful puzzles, while Part 2 although it had better puzzles, lacked pacing and failed in the story (telling) department. A Twist of Fate furthermore increased the puzzle quality and the puzzles became a mostly natural part of the story. Setting, story, dialogue, "acting" and pretty much everything got a more professional touch. Additionaly, stuff like hotspots marker and fast walking got added to the game, making it alot less frustrating.
Overall I enjoyed playing the game. Even though it might not be perfect (e.g. sometimes it's very hard to see the indication to skip scenes), it's a game I would recommend every fan of the genre. Chapter 3 was one of the best parts I've ever played in any adventure/p&c game. I did not like part 1 & 2 of the trilogy and I'd recommend only getting part 3, as in-game dialogue and cut-scene supply you with the needed background information.
Too bad this was the last part of the series. Judging by the progress they made over the trilogy, the next part might've been a masterpiece.
Runaway: A Twist of Fate, is the third and final (as of right now) entry into the Runaway game trilogy. The story, while leaping ahead a bit in time from the cliffhanger ending of Runaway: Dream of the Turtle, can be considered a direct sequel since it wraps up the events from that game.
If you have played either of the other two games, which is recommended if you want to know the full story, then you will be familiar with the control scheme. This is a point and click adventure, with the left and right mouse buttons used to explore and pick up items. In your inventory you can examine and combine items, and select them to use in the environment. The puzzles are on the same level of difficulty as the first two games. There are no ways to fail, so if you are having trouble just keep exploring and combining items until you find the solution. A nice addition is a button to press that will show you all the hotspots in an area. That definitely helps make some of the pixel hunting go a lot faster.
The graphics have seen a nice upgrade from the previous game. My biggest complaint, the character models, have been improved, and while still not the best, are more than serviceable. The backgrounds are as nice as they have been in the Runaway series.
The voice acting and sound continues to be done well. There are some new original songs in Runaway: A Twist of Fate. Plenty of effort has been put into making the sound top quality.
One of my biggest complaints of the series has been the underwhelming involvement of Gina. Although saving her is a main plot point of the first two games, she is never really present for much of the games. You have no chance to form any sort of attachment to her. That is addressed in this game, where you will be able to control Gina for large parts of the game. She almost feels like a new character, because you did not have much interaction with her in the previous games. Brian is clearly a different character than when he began the first game, but it makes sense after the adventures you have been on together.
Runaway: A Twist of Fate felt like the shortest game in the series. However, what is there is very enjoyable, and I would much rather play a shorter game that is filled with quality content than a longer game that wears out its welcome.
I fully recommend Runaway: A Twist of Fate. I felt like the previous game, Dream of the Turtle, was a drop in quality in the series, but the trilogy ends on a high note. An additional adventure in the saga of Brian and Gina would be welcome.
Runaway 3 decided to do a 180° turn and focus on a gritty, realistic story and complex, but solvable puzzles, while leaving the vivid colours behind. If you enjoyed the craziness of the first two games for some reason, you may be appalled how “normal” this one is.
Runaway: A Twist of Fate feels almost like as if it isn’t even the part of the same series ‘The Dream of the Turtle’ was. It even starts by stating almost none of the events of the previous game ever happened, but it doesn’t stop there: the first game’s plot is reduced to a tale the protagonist cooked up in his head to justify stealing 20 million dollars from the mob.
Runaway 3 is, in short, an on-the-run thriller, where Brian and Gina are trying to disappear from the military police of the second game and from the mob they scammed in the first game– packed into a relatively tame but good-looking point ‘n’ click adventure game. No more immature sex jokes, only humour that knows its place and the importance of timing in delivery. No more super spies, only mob enforcers. No more Joshua… thank all deities.
Also, no more bad voice acting. Almost the entire cast was replaced with people who can act, all this to put a larger emphasis on the more serious tone. This realism is also present in the scenery: the jungles and military bases are replaced with more everyday locations like alleyways, an asylum, or a cabin in the woods (where you conduct a rather normal investigation into a murder case).
The puzzles are less Gabriel Knight 3 and more Broken Sword 1. Everything you do follows point ‘n’ click logic, but it does have logic and structure. Essentially, Runaway 3 was changed into an average adventure game that doesn’t really do much to stand out, but it also means it stopped being the colourful, annoying clown that probably hurt the good name of this genre more than it helped.
The twist is that they somehow fixed the series, but was it just in time?
Firstly, Runaway: A Twist of Fate is the third and latest entry in the Runaway series, the point-and-click adventure series by Pendulo Studios where you follow Brian Basco - a shy physics nerd turned into a confident adult capable to stand up for himself - and his attractive girlfriend, Gina Timmins, in their Hollywood-like adventures which take some evident inspirations from a couple of known classics, like Broken Sword in particular.
Split into a couple of acts, this time around the story starts off from nowhere with absolutely no connections to Runaway 2’s ending: Brian is dead and he left a cryptic message to Gina who was supposedly still trapped in some sort of water tank in the previous game. For the first time in this series you take control of Gina, which oddly enough feels like breath of fresh air for this series despite this mechanic being nothing new to the genre. Not only that, but the biggest complain I personally had with this series was how useless Gina was as a character in the past by bringing nothing to the story other than an incentive for Brian to save her -- damsel in distress at her finest. It also did not help her being off-screen for at least three quarters of a game each. But the developers have finally listened and addressed this issue with a newly rewritten Gina who can be clever, reliable, and funny whilst still retaining her woman qualities.
So as Gina, it is your job to find out what actually happened to Brian as you deduce that he is not actually dead. From there on, the story starts building up piece by piece into a satisfying adventure worthy of its title with enough thrills and detective work to suck you in; you really want to know what happens next. I do not know what kind of sorcery the folks at Pendulo Studios dealt with, but whatever it was, the narrative in particular is a massive improvement over the previous games. It has a certain cinematic vibe to it which works surprisingly well with what Runaway: A Twist of Fate is going for, but perhaps the best part is how you are given a certain degree of perspective from different characters on how the plot develops (or developed in the past events) over the course of the game. Without any major spoilers though, the ending does feel somewhat unsatisfying considering the events that occur in the game, even despite being a throwback to Runaway 1’s ending. At the end of the day, considering how Runaway 1’s plot took a while to hook you and how Runaway 2’s was a trainwreck after the first two or so acts, Runaway: A Twist of Fate shows that this series is capable of consistently adequate writing. In actual fact, this is perhaps the most serious Runaway game from a plot standpoint due to its evident shift in tone, but at the price of also being the most mundane from the series as it cut down on the supernatural nonsense and the number of cheesy scenarios. Therefore, fans of the original might miss some of that wacky trademark whilst those who despised Runaway 2’s “Indigo Prophecy”-like approach in storytelling might go through sensations of revelations. Cutting it to the chase, the plot is simply a retcon of the entire story of the series.
Where Runaway: A Twist of Fate truly shines is perhaps when it mocks itself. There are plenty of hilarious, tongue-in-cheek, moments and references where it acknowledges how cheesy the previous Runaway games were and even questions the clichés of the point ‘n’ click genre. Realistically, becoming self-aware of itself should have ruined any of the immersion that the game has to offer, but it actually works in its favour to drive some of the humour from this comedy-oriented flick. Still, when it works, it can generate a chunck of laughter.
Visually, the cartoonish hand drawn backgrounds in here still maintain the unique aesthetics of the series, although they do feel subjectively less memorable (than in Runaway 1) and not as vibrant (as in Runaway 2) this time around. Locations and scenes, which in fact are far less than in the previous two games, are more constrained and definitely a lot smaller in size than before. Furthermore, they are also not as exotic as before since most of setting is mainly based in urban locations. One major criticism in regards to the drawings is that some of the rooms or objects were drawn at really odd angles in respect to the camera, so to speak, making them feel out of place sometimes. The character animations are also much better now.
The puzzles follow the tradition in the Runway series of doing plenty of pixel-hunting and every so often nodding at their illogicality when characters have to “improvise” their way. For our sanity, the developers finally listened to the criticisms received from the previous games and implemented a clever hint system which gives clues (not full solutions) to the player at any given time, along with the ability to highlight all the hotspots in the scene. This allows for a smoother experience than the previous entries without hindering much of the story’s pace. As result, this becomes the easiest and shortest Runaway to complete, clocking around 6-8 hours at most. The only noticeable annoyance with some of the puzzles is when acquiring items before any real motive, thus making certain actions not sequentially logical. This, sadly, ruins a bit of the immersion that is being built. Other than that, Runaway: A Twist of Fate has probably the best puzzles compared to the other two with less temptations of looking up a walkthrough.
As with the shift in tone, the soundtrack returns to the vibes accustomed from the original game which is a satisfying feeling for anyone who unashamedly enjoyed it, especially for its cheesily sang theme tune with synth-guitars. Talking about the audio, gone are the days when you were hearing someone talk as if they were doing so through a tin can, so it is, again, relatively better in most parts than in the previous games. But the most notable observation is the change in voice actors. For instance, Brian does sound different this time around. So you may like this change or not, but I did not find any problems with the new voice actors as far as I am concerned.
In conclusion, Runaway: A Twist of Fate is easily the best and most polished entry in this series, but sadly not the ultimate Runaway experience in my eyes. The way I personally see it is that it spends too much time doing a retcon of the entire series rather than bringing something new to the table. Many of the new features and improvements implemented in here were already present in other similar games of its genre many years prior this. It might as well have been called Runaway 3: The Apology Letter To Fans instead. The only thing that Runaway: A Twist of Fate did was to catch up with modern standards. By fixing many of the series glaring issues (which is commendable), it lost a bit of its charm that made it stand out to other adventure games from its genre, whether you liked it or not. Just when it finished cutting all its badly grown weeds, it ended. Still, I am recommending this game to anyone who fancies a point ‘n’ click adventure game with a good narrative and doable puzzles as it is easily the most accessible of the three games. Luckily, it does not require to have played the previous two to understand the story and recurring characters as everything is explained in it, but in lesser detail. For a better understanding, do play the previous two even if you have to endure their respective flaws.
I believe Pendulo Studios learnt a lot from this experience and I strongly believe, based on how this game played out, that Runaway 4 would have been that ultimate Runaway experience I am craving for. Retain the design polish of this game, but bring back some of those wacky charms of the original.
"Totally brings back the TWIST of fate of the trilogy."
Runaway: A Twist of Fate is a classic point n' click game and the third and final installment of the Runaway Trilogy. After a big disappointment to Runaway - Dream of the Turtle, Twist of Fate brings back the mystery and action that Runaway - A Road Adventure had. The graphics and art have been improved and cinematics are much much better than the first two. Twist of Fate makes up for the fails of Dream of the Turtle.
With Dream of the Turtle leaving the players hanging at the end, Twist of Fate answers the questions that were left in Dream of the Turtle. Giving Twist of Fate two key epilogues: Dream of the Turtle ending and the Twist of Fate finale. Twist of Fate is not entirely dependent on Dream of the Turtle since key events in Dream of the Turtle are well explained in Twist of Fate as a flashback. That's why there isn't much a need to play Dream of the Turtle before playing Twist of Fate but I higly recommend that players should play the first installment, Runaway - A Road Adventure.
Twist of Fate maybe considered as the best among the three since the story plot keeps the player begging for more information on how Brian ended up in that certain situation. WIth a lot of question marks at the beginning, players will be clicking their way to know more. Whenever you get stuck, Twist of Fate has two assisting features: An animated guide and the hotspot displayer. With such features, players won't likely to get frustrated whenever they get stuck on a certain chapter.
Since this one's quite an old game, I recommend it to players that they should buy this when it gets on sale. It's still an Instant Pendulo Studios Classic.
The final part of the three part series of Runaway. As always it's quite funny and easy to get sucked into it, however the problem I had with it was the catch up from the last game when you learn everything was done a little too fast and changed the voice for Brian Basco and a few others (I don't know for what reason) and it's REALLY noticable, as if the guy wasn't even trying to imitate the previous voice actor's way of speaking or tone of voice at all.
Quite dissappointing on the voice side of things, but if you can get over that, it's still quite a fun ride, especially with the implimentation of ways to see hotspots for when you miss some (a complaint I had from the first two games) and even a hint giver who makes jokes about Pendulo Studios employees. However the ending I loved and I can't wait to get stuck into their other adventures. Yesterday and The Next Big Thing.
This is the third game in the Runaway series, instead of playing as Brian you start off playing as Gina. Personally this one was my favorite game of the series but my least favorite Brian of the series but it's understandable seeing as what he went through I guess. It has a couple of new features over the other two like hotspots and hints. Hotspots point out everything on the screen that can be investigated or used which can be useful if you are blind like me. Hints are just as they sound... Hints.. they can be helpful but sometimes I felt they were to helpful and other times not enough, everytime you click for a hint you have to listen to some extra dialogue so it's there is a bit of "punishment" to taking hints but some of the dialogue can be pretty amusing.
All in all I found this more enjoyable than the other two but before playing this I recommend playing the other two or at least the second as it will make many points of the game make more sense.