Monday, 2 September 2013

Pretty Poor Escape, Really

So, I failed at escaping from Stalag-Luft III. I did try. I tried over and over again. I collected as many items as I could, but you're basically hampered by one horrible game mechanic - a few items that you need to escape are delivered in red cross parcels. These arrive once per day (I think) and the game notifies you when one is there. So far, so good. They get delivered to one of the rooms and you have to make your way there, avoiding the guards, to pick them up and get their booty. The problem is that there's no way of speeding up time, so you have to wait an entire day (in game time, but it feels like real time) until the next package arrives. There are things you can do at the start of the game - explore the camp, find items, stash things in tunnels, and so on, but once you know where these things are, you can pick them up really quickly and then you have nothing to do but wait for what seems like hours for new red cross parcels to appear, and hope that they contain the items that you need. That's what killed it for me; I just don't have time to wait around staring at a screen, waiting for a message to appear.

Otherwise, some aspects weren't too bad. The graphics were charmingly Spectrum era - it's the first time I've seen isometric effects like that on the PC. Also, there's a nice feature where if you leave the controls for a minute then your bloke will wander round performing his camp duties and not getting into trouble. I guess this is to give you something to look at while you're waiting for those red cross parcels to appear, but the good will it generates only goes so far. Onwards!

The next game on the randometer is... Castle of the Winds! Never heard of it. It looks like an early roguelike, so could be fun.

In other news, I started X-Com Apocalypse tonight and played for a little while. I did the tutorial missions in the manual and have done my first couple of sorties alone. I was just getting into it when it crashed on me, so I decided to call it a night and write this post instead. It looks good fun, though, so I'll be back to it soon.

EDIT: It looks like there are two Castle of the Winds games, so I've added it to the series list. So, next up on the randometer is...a few more series games and...Prohibition! It looks like an early Operation Wolf-style shooter, very similar to Capone that I played earlier in the year. I can't see it lasting too long.

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