Written by  :  Andrew Fisher (597)
Written on  :  Aug 28, 2018
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars
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Summary

Ultimately, the game was ruined

The Good

Well I suppose the isometry is nice, though I'm not sure that the lack of colour really adds anything. I particularly like the detail of the barbed wire. The gameplay is quite simplistic, you explore a relatively small prison camp, looking for an escape, before your morale runs out. If you do manage to escape, the idea is that you replay the game, the challenge this time being to find an alternative escape. That's all fine I suppose, maybe the game is short, but replayable.

The picking up and choosing of objects to solve problems is quite crudely programmed, but I found fun in wondering what each object is and what it could be used for. Limiting your inventory to 2 items also creates an interesting challenge.

So the graphics and gameplay produce a bit of a realistic P.O.W atmosphere and the game does feel a bit like the famous 1963 film of the same name, what with being regularly sent to "the cooler" (solitary). And I suppose it's interesting to play a war-themed game, where you're completely on the defensive i.e you don't have to kill anyone to escape.

The Bad

One particular part of the game was a "dealbreaker" for me. An important item is placed, almost completely invisible, in a completely unlikely place. When something like this happens in a game it indicates what the designers/programmers expect from the players... "Spend your precious time studying the screens of our game for an odd pixel that may turn out to be an item needed to win the game!".

So it is quite easy to die i.e lose your morale, then you must start over and after that, going through those daily routines again can be a real bore. One can say of the routine "Oh well, I suppose it's realistic" and respect the realism, but then you're rewarded for that with the "realism" of an important item just lying in the dirt outside. After that happened, no amount of P.O.W game atmosphere could give me the will to keep enduring those daily routines. The character's morale? What about the player's morale?

The Bottom Line

It's probably worth trying, to appreciate the graphics and the prison camp atmosphere, but I'd strongly suggest looking at a walkthrough first so you know what you're in for. It's probably better to be let down that way, than by playing the game. I think the graphics could be left alone and parts of the gameplay changed to make it a much better game.

By the way, this game was recently redistributed under license by Piko Interactive, available online (download).