Great Escape, The Download (1987 Adventure Game)

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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.

If you've seen the movie, and liked it, than you will probably have a nice thrill with "The Great Escape"

I saw and liked it a lot, and found the game strangely addictive. Like most old-timer DOS games, "Great Escape" has a simple storyline which keeps you, the player, focused at all times. You are a British RAF pilot in the WWII time period, who was captured by the Germans after his plane crashed. Imprisoned in a Stalag Luft prison camp, your goal is to escape the camp along with your fellow POW's and make it back to England unharmed (although this second part of the story is not included).

The format is like all adventure games: lots of rooms and areas, and you have to pick up objects and solve puzzles with them in order to escape. The puzzles are all very straight-forward (pick up shovel, use it to dig escape tunnel). You also need to possess a keen eye for observation; to escape; you must master the guard's nightly patrol routes and the blind spots near the sentry towers. If you are found by a German "goon" where you're not supposed to be, you will spend time in solitary confinement or "the cooler". Spending time in the cooler lowers your morale meter, and therefore your effectiveness in finding the items you need to escape. You have to make sure you are accounted for at morning roll call and at the mess hall during mealtimes, or you may be penalized.

In order to win, you have to have used all the inventory items to dig a tunnel to the outer edge of the compound, than cut through the barbed wire and leave the camp.

Graphics: this game was published in 1988, so don't expect the graphics to be anything special. They are good for the period, but not many colors. The animations are surprisingly smooth and fast.

Sound: typical DOS format. Blip, beep, beeeeeeep!

Controls: very difficult to get used to, at least for me. To move around you use the number pad, instead of the arrow keys. You use the space bar to "shoot".

All in all, I give this game a rating of 4. The story and the graphics are satisfying, but the game is rather short and once you've played it you probably won't play it again. The controls are also a bit frustrating. A thumb up for the animations!

The Great Escape from Ocean is definitely one of the best adventures and one of the best games for Commodore 64. It puts You in role of World War 2 prisoner of war, a guy imprisoned in German concentration camp and in desperate search of escape. During the game You have to search for items and use them on the right places, attend roll calls, exercise and do all the boring stuff if You don't want to get caught and sneak around the camp during the night and arrange everything for a perfect escape. The Great Escape is a game that You simply can't miss. It has everything to keep You glued for some time and if You complete it You will feel sorry that it never had a sequel.

One of the most gripping "realistic" adventures ever produced, The Great Escape puts you in the role of a World War II pilot who is captured by the Germans and must --what else?-- escape from the prison. The puzzles are standard find-everything-that-isn't-nailed-down affair, but there are may scripted events and characters you must take advantage of. For example, figuring out the daily routine of prison life and the guards' patrol routes are essential to plotting your escape. Puzzles are obvious (e.g. se poison on guard dog), but the truly affective adrenaline rush you'll feel when implementing your plan is the best thing about this game. Overall, it's a fun but forgotten classic, and the graphics was good for its time.

How to run this game on modern Windows PC?

This game has been set up to work on modern Windows (11/10/8/7/Vista/XP 64/32-bit) computers without problems. Please choose Download - Easy Setup (1.37 MB).


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