Great Escape

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Locked in a prison camp your daily routine consists of roll cals, exercise periods and escape attempts.

If you’re indecisive for more than a few seconds you’ll automatically follow the daily routine of sleeping, walking and eating. If you want to try something else then a press of the fire button regains control. Now you can explore the camp, search and find potentially useful objects and scout out possible escape routes. But you must return to the camp routine if you want to stay out of solitary.

Swapping in and out of this “auto prisoner” mode is essential if you are to escape as it ensures you get to roll calls, eat and sleep but allows you some time to explore the camps without raising the alarm.

Get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and you’ll be sent to solitary to cool your heels. This also destroys your morale and can also increase the number of guards that are assigned. A constant escort of three guards makes escaping almost impossible.

Your morale is extremely important and illustrated by a flag at the side of the screen.

A escape attempts fail and objects are confiscated your morale drops. The lower it gets the less likely you are able to break out of “auto prisoner” and escape until finally at zero all player control is lost and the game is over.

After recent Ocean disasters such as Miami Vice and Knight Rider I was surprised at how good this game was. It takes a little while to get into it as you just observe the normal prison routine.

Then you can find the opportunities to duck through a door, search the room contents, steal anything interesting and be out before the guards notics you’re missing.

You can only carry around two objects at any time and so you have to find a safe place to stash them before the big escape.

A good hiding place and a possible escape route is the tunnel that you can find by moving the boiler in your room! Unfortunately, the tunnel network is complex and difficult to navigate in the dark, but if you found a torch…

The graphics in Great Escape Spectrum are excellent as the camp is created from 255 scrolling 3D screens full of prisoners, guards, dogs, barbed wire, buildings (most of them off limits) and searchlights.

All night the camp is enclosed in darkness that allows you to explore freely if you can avoid the patrols and the searchlights.

A brilliand idea, superbly implemented. Ocean’s best ever Spectrum game!

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