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!
Runs on DOSBOX. On XP, it runs way too fast. I suggest slowing down the CPU cycles using CTRL-F11.
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