The once timid student Brian Basco returns from the original Runaway as a more muscular protagonist in Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle, and is on a relaxing vacation in Hawaii with the heroine from the previous game, Gina Timmins. However, when a simple day outing strands our hero in a jungle and sends his girlfriend plummeting from a plane and into a lake, the player has to once again lead Brian on a rescue mission. Drunken lemurs and military secrets abound in this interesting third-person adventure game.
Undoubtedly the strongest part of Runaway 2 is its graphics. Like its predecessor, the game features a completely cartoon-style world and characters. Simply everything about the game looks nice, and most characters have a very definitive look that reflects their personality and draws the player into the game. Supporting the outstanding graphics are nicely done animations that bring the gameâ€™s characters to life in a way that is wholly visual and appealing.
The gameplay in Runaway 2 is completely point-and-click driven; moving Brian around the screen is done by clicking areas instead of with designated keys, and all things are examined and interacted with on a per-click basis, with the player using the right mouse button to cycle through the two options on any object. Strangely, the game sports a rather archaic interface, with both the options screen and the character inventory being kludgy.
While the game is divided into discrete chapters, gameplay within a chapter is fairly non-linear in the sense that there are often multiple goals to be accomplished at once, and some do depend on others, but for the most part you can complete or begin them in any order. This may seem attractive, but it is oftentimes frustrating to be repeatedly going back to the same place, listening to the same dialogue, or seeing the same animations play over and over. The game does allow you to skip dialogue or move directly to some locations from the world map, but within a particular area movement is slow, and animation sequences cannot be skipped, which ruins their novelty and initial impressiveness. Puzzles, the heart of any good adventure game, are initially obvious, not entirely simple, and sometimes get a little too obscure for their own good.
Each character in Runaway 2 has their own distinct voice (and color-coded subtitles) that succeeds in defining them beyond just their looks. The vocals, however, could be stronger, with the gameâ€™s protagonist ironically giving the weakest performance. Supporting characters fair better, and overall the cast does an average jobâ€”good enough to hold the playerâ€™s attention, but nothing very memorable. The writing in the game mirrors this; some lines are particularly good and witty, while others are bizarrely the opposite, evening out to another average experience. Other sound effects do a good job of supporting the game, but nothing stands out as extraordinary besides a nicely done opening theme.
In the end, the prettiness of Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle does not entirely make up for its average sound and gameplay, but despite some of its flaws, it is still an entertaining game, and fans of the original, or those seeking a nice looking and light-hearted adventure game, will more than likely appreciate this sequel.