Runaway: A Twist of Fate - Part 1 Review
- Conversations provide flavor and context for your actions, not just basic exposition or unlocking the next step in a puzzle.
- Visually distinct style; cartoonish, but still rich and realistic.
- Double-tap to fast move can often results in losing the character sprite; requires a restart to continue.
- Controls far too imprecise; made all the more frustrating thanks to a poorly designed interface.
Runaway: A Twist of Fate will still appeal to fans of Adventure games and fans of the Runaway series (at least those who haven't already played this title), but it's control quirks and its lack of transparent gameplay makes it hard to recommend to those newer to the genre.
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Despite the Adventure genre going through a hay-day of sorts, there were many problems with the basic gameplay - notably, it was almost assumed that players understood the genre's many tropes. Supposedly, after what was called the 'Grandma Test', Telltale games revised how they approached teaching the player how to play their games and this has flowed through to each of their titles since then. Runaway: A Twist of Fate is the third in a series from Pendulo Studios, and unfortunately it doesn't share the same clarity in its gameplay and is made all the more frustrating due to its many, not insignificant quirks.
First and foremost, as with any Adventure title your primary job is to explore, collect and investigate until you have all the information you need to proceed. All three of these are obfuscated by the game's control system of tapping to highlight and interact with the world. In order to find these elements you'll need to use a menu option to temporarily 'highlight' the area and its objects, but this only lasts for a brief moment and worst of all, they're easy to miss as the game expects you to be very precise in where you tap.
It's such a shame because the game has a lot of heart - its characters are cartoonish, but flawed and push the boundaries of good-taste at times, giving the game a distinctly adult edge. It makes for an intriguing experience, especially in the moments where the game clicks and you make some progress.
With six chapters (eventually) to complete, it's not the lengthiest of titles, but you will be challenged to work out the game's many puzzles. Thankfully you can always check the fourth-wall breaking 'tips' to lead you in the right direction.
Runaway: A Twist of Fate is not the best example of the genre for the iOS platform, but it's still a fascinating title that's sure to keep genre fans busy for a solid afternoon.