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The Great Escape is an isometric action-adventure game. Controlling a prisoner of war in a German camp, your goal is to break out undetected. There are numerous ways to freedom – back doors, cracked fences, even underground tunnels. However, you have to plan your escape while obeying the strict rules of the camp.

Number one: Daily program. You have to attend two roll calls a day, one meal, one exercise, and stay in bed at night. Failure to appear at any of these events will result in the alarm being rung. When you do not touch the controls, your protagonist will move automatically, going to all important events. You have to detect and use gaps in the time-table to explore the camp.

Rule number two: guard rooms are off limits. If a soldier catches you in a room that is forbidden, you will be placed in solitary confinement. Of course, you have to enter restricted parts of the camp to find items crucial for your escape. The moral flag will turn from green to red to indicate that you are in an area where you shouldn’t be.

Rule number three: no prisoner may carry forbidden objects. When you are caught in a suspicious situation, you will be stripped of all items that you found so far. To avoid that, you have to deposit objects in a safe place. You need to find keys to open locked doors, uniforms for camouflage, flashlights to see in dark tunnels, and many more.

Rule number four: guard commands are to be obeyed at all times. The German soldiers patrol on fixed routes and have a line of sight. You have to learn the guard’s routes and sneak past their backs to avoid detection when breaking out. If you are caught, your morale will decrease. If your morale reaches zero, your will to escape is broken.


The Great Escape ZX Spectrum The infamous isolation room.
The Great Escape DOS Roll call. If you miss it, all hell will break lose.
The Great Escape ZX Spectrum Day one
The Great Escape ZX Spectrum Trying to escape...

Promo Images

The Great Escape Screenshot
The Great Escape Screenshot
The Great Escape Screenshot
The Great Escape Screenshot

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Ultimately, the game was ruined DOS Andrew Fisher (643)

Critic Reviews

ZX Computing ZX Spectrum Mar, 1987 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Your Computer ZX Spectrum Dec, 1986 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Your Sinclair ZX Spectrum Jan, 1987 9 out of 10 90
Popular Computing Weekly ZX Spectrum Oct 23, 1986 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Computer and Video Games (CVG) ZX Spectrum Dec, 1986 8 out of 10 80
Your Commodore Commodore 64 Sep, 1987 31 out of 40 78
The Games Machine (UK) DOS Dec, 1987 60 out of 100 60
Amtix! Amstrad CPC Mar, 1987 55 out of 100 55
Happy Computer Commodore 64 1986 45 out of 100 45
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) DOS Oct, 1987 Unscored Unscored


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The isometric game engine introduced in The Great Escape was reused one year later in Where Time Stood Still.


  • Commodore Force
    • December 1993 (Issue 13) – #98 “Readers' Top 100”
  • Zzap!
    • January 1990 (Issue 57) – 'The Best Games of the 80's Decade' (Robin Hogg)

Related Web Sites

  • Abandonia (for DOS (CGA graphics): downloadable releases; additional material)
  • CPC-Power (in French) (for Amstrad CPC: dowloadable releases; artwork; additional material)
  • Game Base 64 (for C64: Games, Database, Music, Emulation, Frontends, Reviews and Articles )
  • Lemon 64 (for C64: games, reviews and music)
  • My Abandonware (for DOS and Amstrad CPC: downloadable releases; online versions; additional material)
  • Wikipedia (combined platform entry)
  • World of Spectrum (for ZX Spectrum: downloadable releases; additional material; player reviews; magazine references; magazine adverts)
Contributed to by -Chris (7565), Foxhack (24867) and Martin Smith (66864)