Runaway: A Road Adventure is a game originally developed and released in Spain back in 2003 by Tri Synergy. It took awhile but it eventually made it to our shores where it arrived to a fairly warm response in the adventure gaming community.
Runaway: A Road Adventure follows Brian Basco, a recent college graduate who is on his way to a job interview. Along the way he accidently hits a beautiful lady with his car. Being the responsible individual he is, he takes her to the hospital. Little does he know what he's just stepped into.
Gina, as the girl turns out to be, is on the run from some mob goons who are after an artifact left to her by her now deceased father. Along the way the two will experience adventure and romance as they try to find out the truth behind the artifact before the goons catch up with them.
The story begins with Brian beginning his road trip from New York City to Berkeley, California to begin his graduate studies. Along the way, he accidentally hits a beautiful woman with his car, who he later learns to be Gina Timmons, as she flees Gustav and Feodor, a pair of mafia goons. Not wanting to just leave her, he drives her to a hospital. There, she explains to him that she is being chased by the Mafia because she witnessed them murder her father, and asks him not to leave her. Although he believes this to be a delusion brought on by the accident, he still constructs a false Gina out of pillows, a medical mannequin’s head, and a wig. He then hides in the room’s bathroom as the thugs break in and shoot the mannequin, believing it to be Gina. Now believing her story, Brian rouses Gina and they begin their adventure by travelling to visit Clive, a professor friend of Brian’s at a natural history museum in Chicago, hoping that he can explain to them the origin of a mysterious crucifix given to her by her father before he was murdered.
When Brian and Gina arrive at the museum, they are spotted by Munchkin Bob, a mafia informant, who calls Gustav and Feodor to tip them off to Brian and Gina’s whereabouts. Meanwhile, Brian learns that the museum is preparing for an exhibit on Mayan art, and as such are too busy restoring and cataloging pieces for the exhibit that they are unable to restore and study the crucifix. Brian replaces one of the Mayan pieces with the crucifix so that it will be restored by Dr. Olivaw, the head scientist. Upon scanning it with a state-of-the art cataloging device, he learns that the crucifix is of Hopi origin. However, before Brian and Gina are able to enact their plan to visit Hopi land and learn more there, Gustav and Feodor break in, murder Clive, and kidnap Brian and Gina.
Brian wakes up in an old shed in the middle of the desert with Gina being interrogated in the next room. Brian escapes the shed and meets three drag queens, Mariola, Carla, and Lula, whose tour bus broke down. With their help, Brian manages to secure the helicopter with which they were kidnapped, blow up an oil rig to lure Gustav and Feodor away from Gina long enough to release her, and lay down suppressive fire from an old airplane turret long enough to make their escape.
The drag queens drop Brian and Gina off near an old mine. While exploring, Gina falls down a hole into the mine shaft. Believing her to be dead, Brian falls to the ground, exasperated. While mourning the loss of Gina, a man appears, introducing himself as Wapuchim, the last of the Hopi chiefs. He explains to Brian that the “crucifix” given to Gina is in fact the key to a Hopi crypt. Knowing that Gina would want him to continue and solve the mystery, Brian presses on.
Near the mine, Brian discovers Douglasville, an old ghost town now inhabited by only three people: Sushi Douglas, a computer expert whose ancestors founded the town and passed it down to her, Kevin, A.K.A. Saturn, an artist/inventor, and Rutger, a “gardener” of sorts. They help Brian to open the entrance to the mine and find his way through to the Hopi village.
At the Hopi village Brian finds Gina, whose leg was broken by the fall, but otherwise is ok. Invigorated, Brian continues on to the Hopi crypt and opens it with the crucifix/key. Inside, he once again meets Wapuchim, who gives him the contents of the crypt: a human index finger preserved in a jar of formaldehyde. Brian and Gina travel back to Douglasville, where Brian takes her to Mama Dorita, a Mexican shaman. Mama Dorita heals Gina’s leg and holds a séance, with Brian as a medium, to communicate presumably with Gina’s father. However, it turns out not to be Gina’s father that is summoned, but a man named Johnny the Indian. When Brian wakes up, Gina explains to him that the person she saw murdered in the night club in New York was not actually her father, but rather a gangster she knew named Johnny. Four years ago, Johnny had been part of a heist for the Sandrettis, the heads of the mafia for which Gustav and Feodor work. Johnny had stolen the 20 million dollars from the heist and hid it before he was arrested. Upon being released, the Sandrettis found and murdered him (witnessed by Gina), in an effort to extract the location of the $20 million.
Brian finds Johnny’s now abandoned trailer in the desert and searches it for clues. The only relevant findings are a nun’s habit and a brochure for an obscure bank. Brian takes the brochure to Sushi for information. Sushi, a prevalent hacker, learns that the bank is a very expensive, very secure bank that does not ask questions of its clients. They also don’t use conventional keys, instead using the index finger of the client as identification. She also learns that Johnny had a sister who was a nun. Brian puts together the pieces and concludes that the money that was stolen by Johnny resides in this bank. Shortly after hiding the money, Johnny decided that his sister was not to be trusted and murdered her, cut off her finger, and hid it in the Hopi crypt that he knew of because of his Indian heritage.
Brian enlists the help of Oscar, Mama Dorita’s bodyguard, to subdue Gustav and Feodor. Brian and Sushi then trick the Sandrettis into thinking that Gustav and Feodor betrayed them and stole the money for themselves. Brian and Gina then travel to the bank to retrieve the money as Oscar drops off Gustav and Feodor in the desert, who are subsequently found and murdered by the Sandrettis.
The game ends with Brian deciding that Berkeley can wait one more year as he and Gina lay low and get to know each other better in the Cayman Islands.
The game is a standard adventure game. You control the main character, Brian Basco, and lead him from screen to screen finding objects to interact with and puzzles to solve. Along the way you meet some interesting characters and escape some deadly situations.
Overall the game received a fairly warm critical reception, especially considering that adventure games tend to receive rather mediocre reviews in current times. It stands at a score of 74 on metacratic.com with comments such as "It has pretty much everything you'd want out of a solid adventure experience, like diverse settings, a good storyline, wacky characters, and lots of complex puzzles." from Gamespot and "I don't know if it's a classic . . . but this is the one of the most balanced and enjoyable adventures of these last years." from Just Adventure.
- Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP
- Pentium™ 200 MMX
- 64 MB RAM
- 631 MB HDD
- Monitor and graphic card (DirectX™ compatible) with support for 1024x768 and 16-bit color
- DirectX™ compatible sound card
- 8X CD-ROM
- Mouse and keyboard
- Pentium™ II 233
- 128 Mb RAM
- 1,4 GB HDD
- 24X CD-ROM