Chooseco, $6.99, ISBN 1-933390-08-5
First published in 1983, RA Montgomery’s Escape is touched up again in this revised edition, with the campaign slightly expanded by a few pages. Still, it’s pretty much the same as the 1983 edition, so there’s no need to rush out to get this one if you already have the original edition.
Actually, there is no rush to get this one even if you don’t have the original edition, because Escape isn’t very interesting to begin with.
It’s year 2035, and the world is changed greatly and, in the area formerly occupied by the United States, there are now three countries: Dorado, Rebellium, and Turtalia. Dorado is ruled by a totalitarian government that uses its Secret Police to capture and execute rebels. You are a spy from Turtalia, who attempted to infiltrate Dorado and retrieve information on that country’s plan to invade your country, but oops, the Secret Police arrested you.
When the campaign opens, you and your friend have just broken out of their prison. You need to escape back to Turtalia, but it’s easier said than done. Can you can make it out of Dorado alive? You have three baggage, er, companions with you – Mimla the leader of the resistance in Dorado, her bodyguard Matt, and the hacker Haven whose skills in hacking the Doradan government’s computers would be useful to your country.
“Random” is the word that describes this campaign. Seriously, the logical choices often lead to abrupt and unhappy endings – such as one where you refuse to let someone in because that someone didn’t give the special knock, only to get killed by the enemies anyway for no good reason – and some of the endings are just plain hilarious. There is one where you fly a plane through the clouds, only to be told, oops, you are never seen again. What, are those scary man-eating clouds we are talking about here?
The story in the campaign is pretty standard, although it could easily be set in the past as the setting doesn’t feel very futuristic at all. Therefore, it’s nothing worth sloughing through the randomness of design or the pedestrian narrative for.
Escape is easily one of the more forgettable gamebooks in this series.