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    Runaway Express Mystery


    Posts : 5149
    Join date : 2013-09-01
    Age : 57
    Location : Western Australia

    Runaway Express Mystery Empty Runaway Express Mystery

    Post by JustTheFacts on Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:57 am

    Runaway Express Mystery
    by Icarus Games - September, 2014

    Available at:
    Big Fish

    Runaway Express Mystery Runaway-express-mystery_feature

    While a young mother attends a train exhibition with her children, something strange happens. The monumental Runaway Express starts moving with her children on board! With no one to help, the frightened mother jumps on the train before it starts to speed away. While on board, she finds that it is occupied by unexpected travelers - ghosts of people who died on board during those 50 years the train was operating between Paris and Istanbul.

    Every death, every person, every ghost holds some mystery that has yet to be investigated. Now, these haunted souls rule the train and it is no longer suitable for the living. The young mother finds that the only way to save her children is to investigate the haunted past and bring some resolution to these lost souls.

    Will it break the curse? Will uncovering each mystery free every soul? Why do the passengers fear the masked Engineer? Unveil the mysteries to find out how to defeat him, but beware, doing so comes at a price.

    • Explore many unique locations
    • Uncover the mysteries of the cursed train
    • Enjoy beautiful Hidden Object sceneries
    • Solve puzzling minigames

    Click images to enlarge
    Runaway Express Mystery Th_screen1 Runaway Express Mystery Th_screen2 Runaway Express Mystery Th_screen3

    Posts : 5149
    Join date : 2013-09-01
    Age : 57
    Location : Western Australia

    Runaway Express Mystery Empty Re: Runaway Express Mystery

    Post by JustTheFacts on Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:05 am

    I did a review of the beta so long ago I thought the game concept had died! Anyway, it is an excellent SE stand alone.

    Good Combination Of Game Play Features


    Nice opening, with the cut scenes just a little bit too basic for comfort, but a wonderful voiceover actress and a unique story. There is certainly the expectation that this is going to be interesting.

    Barring the cut scenes, the graphics are good – clear, sufficiently detailed, attractive. Most importantly the HOP scenes are bright and clean. They are tricky enough in their own right, they don’t need questionable graphics! The voice actors throughout, while not perfect, do a fine job of clear diction and appropriate emotions. I particularly liked that the dialogues between our character and those she meets are ‘real’. They are the normal reactions of a distraught mother to petty officialdom and are the most convincing I’ve ever seen/heard. You also have dialogue options in some cases. The music and ambient sounds are present and comfortable, but not intrusive. There is, of course, the constant train noise.

    At an expo of locomotives, your children climb aboard the famous Runaway Express, are grabbed by the Engineer (?), and the train takes off. You barely manage to grab onto the caboose. Breaking into the train and moving forward through the carriages is about as difficult as you’d expect it to be, and then things get worse! Eventually, you reach other people, but the one person who may be able to help is weird and ill-looking, and not as helpful as you think he could be. Somehow, you are roped into solving his problem – a total lack of recall about himself and what he is doing on this train. This is your first ‘case’, and your first step towards rescuing your children.

    This is one aspect of the game that is a bit careless. We somehow morph from concerned mother to deft detective, complete with the analytical skills and tools required. It is a leap not supported by the story.

    The gameplay is an intriguing mix of things we’ve seen elsewhere, used in new ways. The HOPs are progressive silhouettes (find and use), at least, some items are. Others are simply ‘find and they disappear’. The search list is on the right side of the monitor, which changes your thinking about it more than you’d think.

    On the left side, you have the tools of the detective trade that you found in a Paris alley (yeah, I know, weird, right?). You can use the magnifier, fingerprint kit, luminol and flashlight to find handprints and blood stains, as well as the standard items. The first time confronted with this array of tools, I was at a complete loss as to where they could be most profitably used. I mean, we surely weren’t going to dust the whole scene for prints, right? Right! Where to use the tools is, in this first scene, indicated by an array of hints, if you can decipher them. After that you are on your own. – and in the harder two of three difficulty levels, there is a misclick penalty. I know people will scream, but I can see it makes sense here. The result is a very difficult series of HOP scenes which while doing nothing we have not seen before, are rendered unique in combination.

    The puzzles are again not especially new, but they bring their own degree of difficulty with them. Still, not as complex as the HOPs. The adventure is intuitive and I had no trouble following the logic of the actions, and there is a notebook, task list, interactive jump map, and directional hint. You can also expect inventory items that need additional steps or parts, or closer examination.

    That is not all that this game requires you to master. As well, we have an evidence board (don’t ask me how), and as we acquire evidentiary items we must place them in one of the three columns on the board – motive, crime scene, suspect – and draw conclusions from it. This is made too easy (at least in the easiest level of difficulty) by having pale silhouettes of the items in the correct columns. Still, it is very satisfying to see the case all come together, and watch the inescapable conclusion become obvious.

    The game could have used a little tweeking on the story, but I am very impressed, particularly when I discovered the only previous pc game this developer has made (Lost Civilisation aka NiBiRu rip-off), was neither original nor clever, and caused a major furore at its release. They obviously learned from the last effort, and I am always happy to see a developer come back with obvious improvements.

    Well done Icarus!!

    I recommend this game!

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