Taking the role of an enslaved African American (either male or female) in the southern United States during 1830, the player must try escaping a plantation and get to one of the free northern states.
First the player must choose what zone of the south they want their journey to begin. Their starting point choice acts as a difficulty level. When the escape begins the slave is given random abilities such as being able to swim or not being able to read or write which can affect how the player approaches the game.
The main gameplay takes place on a screen that shows the countryside. Also on display is the runaway slave's four personal indicators that indicate his or her nourishment, stamina, health, and injury. Also shown is the time of day which is suppose to be figured out by the position of the sun. The player has regular actions and circumstantial actions they can take during the game.
Regular actions include sleeping, waiting and resting, eating, repairing injuries, checking the player's inventory, and orienting the direction that the player is heading in. Figuring out the direction is done by either looking at the North Star, finding moss on trees, or using a compass.
Circumstantial actions can include knocking on peoples' doors that may or may not be sympathetic with the slave's plight; Running, hiding, fighting, or surrendering when spotted by a patrol; and choosing whether to swim or sidestep around a river.
The game is over when either the player gets recaptured, dies, or escapes to freedom.
Credits (Apple II version)
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In 1995, parents of an 11-year old black student sued the Tempe Elementary School District for using this game in their curriculum. The suit alleged that the game had racial stereotypes by the way the black characters looked and spoke in their dialogue. The lawsuit sought unspecified damages from the district and the Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation (MECC), the developers of the game. Previously, MECC had pulled it off the market in 1993 and said it had instructed school districts to destroy any copies they had.
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Game added by Alaka.
Game added December 31, 2009. Last modified August 30, 2023.