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Escape from Delirium (DOS)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.5
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Roedie (5227)
Written on  :  Dec 27, 2001
Rating  :  1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars
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Summary

Ouch... awful writing!

The Good

Escape from Delirium is a homemade adventure game inspired by Monkey Island 2. Paul Cole looks very similar to Guybrush Threepwood and the interface also has a lot in common with Monkey Island 2. Moreover there are references to MI all over this game.

Technically, Escape from Delirium, works fine (except for some parts of the game where you can pick up the same item over and over again). It isn't exactly a short game too. To me the game appeared as a completed whole, which is not a small achievement for a homemade game.

Moreover, the game has its funny moments (although certainly not the laugh out loud humor of Monkey Island); some of the animations are quite nice (especially during the introductory part of the game, the music is not too bad and the game contains some jokes that could not have been in this game if it had been released by a corporate giant.

The Bad

Unfortunately this game suffers from truly bad writing. The storyline, for example, starts out promising but ends up making no sense at all. You're witnessing a burglary at a museum and since your name was in the newspaper (printing the name of a witness in a newspaper of course doesn't make a lot of sense) the thieves want to kill you. So they put a time bomb on the plane that takes you to Washington. There is however also a hijacker on the plane and he sends the plane to the Philippines. When the bomb goes off, you crash-land in a jungle. So far, so good. But instead of finding a way home or trying to convict the criminals you end up [warning: spoiler] reviving an ancient warrior. It just makes no sense at all.

Also, the dialogues are all very boring, so are Paul Cole & the other characters and the descriptions of items. Almost every time you look at an object the description will be something like this: it's a rock, nice snake, a chair etc. That doesn't make the game very interesting.

During the game you collect a lot of items so your inventory becomes very full. A lot of the puzzles are a bit illogical and so the gameplay turns into the usual "combine everything from your inventory with everything on the screen-clickfest". This takes a lot of the pace out of the game. This is made worse by the way the game responds to your actions. For example there is a part of the game [spoiler] where you have use an iron crowbar to break a big stone into little stones. This works with one of the stones, but if you use your crowbar on another stone lying next to it, the game responds by saying: "Do you think this makes sense?". Things like this happen a lot in this game. These standard responses are not helpful at all. Paul Cole should have responded by saying something like: "this stone is too hard" or something. It's like the developers didn't really think about all the options the player has.

The Bottom Line

I know that this is a homemade game and I shouldn't be too hard on it since the developers probably lacked funding and man-hours (so I won’t complain about the graphics, they look a lot like MI 2 while Escape from Delirium was released 5 years later). However this game’s biggest faults are its lame storyline and writing. Imagination & common sense have never been expensive.