Adventure games have been on the rise for the Nintendo DS, but the PC hasn’t been getting the same retro love. This week CDV is releasing a point and click adventure game on the PC, Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle. Mario Kroll explains what the game is about and all the way at the end mentions that CDV is “looking hard” at two platforms for CDV to from their traditional PC roots. Hmm…
Siliconera: Mario the last time we talked about Runaway: Dream of the Turtle you mentioned it’s the #1 most anticipated game in France?
Mario Kroll (Director, Marketing and Public Relations at CDV): I can’t speak directly to the tastes of the French consumer in terms of gaming with any real expertise. My opinion based on observation would be that they tend to be more into social games and problem solving games than the average American consumer. With the Pets expansion to The Sims 2 being the number one selling title over the holidays and Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle (there called Runaway 2, since the original, Runaway: A Road Adventure, was also quite a hit in France) the second best selling full price PC title. Clearly, adventure games are more popular in France and in Europe in general. That’s a bit of a shame because many deliver a far greater entertainment value than the $19.99 or $29.99 price point possible in the US for even a top notch adventure title these days.
Let’s get everyone up to speed about Brian and Gina from the first game.
Brian Basco and Gina Timmins are our two returning heroes from the original title, Runaway: A Road Adventure, which released in 2003 and went on to sell over 600,000 units world wide.
In this title, the once geeky college student hero, Brian, and his now firmly established girlfriend, the former dancer Gina, are on a vacation in Hawaii. Gina suggest that they should take a day trip to a nearby, relatively uninhabited Mala Island. As happens in all good stories, little goes according to plan and Brian and Gina find themselves in a plane with an incapacitated pilot, and only one parachute to share. Brian, in an act of attempted chivalry, has Gina take the parachute and forces her off the plane, realizing the parachute won’t support both their weights. Brian watches Gina land in the middle of a lake and then is knocked out during the crash landing.
Brian is knocked out during the landing and when he wakes up there is on trace of the former pilot or Gina. Relatively unscathed, Brian sets out to get out of the jungle and find his girlfriend. Along the way he meets some pretty interesting characters, including a number that make return visits from the original, and even an alcohol obsessed lemur.
He also discovers that there’s something fishy going on on Mala island, with a crazed Army Colonel trying to ship everyone off the island while the military is clearly looking for something important. That’s how the story starts, taking Brian on a wild trip across Hawaii, Alaska, on a luxury yacht, into an ancient temple, under water, and even through time to the heyday of pirates.
Will players have to play the first Runaway title to get what’s going on?
No, knowledge of the original is not required. However, a synopsis of the plot from the original game is included in the sequel’s option menu. It includes a few spoilers, so those wanting to go back and play the original may want to wait until we re-release it before checking out our version of "the story so far."
One thing adventure games are notorious for are illogical puzzles. Is Runaway 2 guilty of this crime?
Of course it is. But we revel in them and don’t consider illogical, but fun puzzles a crime. Runaway features a number of zany puzzles that enthusiasts of games like the Monkey Island series, the original Runaway, Leisure Suit Larry and the television series MacGyver will certainly appreciate. But once a player figures out how the developers were thinking in terms of combining items to get some crazy results, it becomes dramatically easier. But Runaway is definitely no push-over when it comes to challenge.
During the demo I had a chance to see the Monkey Island homage where Brian is dressed up like Guybrush. That was a neat surprise, but how does it fit into Runaway?
I don’t want to give too much of the plot away. Suffice it to say that Brian ultimately manages to travel through time to visit an authentic pirate ship — with the crew and captain and its treasure horde still on board. It’s the game’s homage to one of the greatest series of adventure games ever made, and something that we hope the players will enjoy as much as the developers did in creating that portion.
Further, there are lots of veiled and overt references to pop culture such as movies, other games and music; much of the fun of playing Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle is just discovering those gems.
How is the voice work for Runaway coming along? Will we hear it in two languages?
It’s great, actually. We were able to redo a few scenes that we were originally not thrilled with and even tracked down the original Brian voice actor to help us out with a brand new video trailer that we’ll unveil this week that offers a short vignette version of what Brian encounters in the game. Some of the other voices were also replaced with improved ones, and we enhanced many other small touches from when you saw the title late last year. But, to answer your second part of this question, the language shipping with the North American version will only be English.
Nintendo’s Wii remote can be used to point and click like a mouse. Could we see Runaway on the Wii or maybe the DS?
One never knows. CDV is definitely looking hard at those two platforms as ones to expand into from our traditional PC only roots. Whether adventure games are the right titles for those platforms remains to be seen, but at this point anything is possible. With innovative new titles in that genre coming out on the DS, it seems like an ideal vehicle for a game like Runaway, so perhaps a port or a sequel will make its way onto everyone’s favorite touch-sensitive hand held.