Format reviewed: Commodore 64
Submitted by: James Evans
I will always remmber how difficult the controls were. As with most isometric games they always took a lot of getting used to. Just picking up, using and putting down items was a massive chore but even the main three elements of the gameplay being shonky does not stop this being an utter classic for me. The thrill of ditching roll call to hide away stashed items in your tunnel – then get back out again before the nazis found you was genuinely exciting. There was a set path you were to follow – roll call, meal time, excercise yard etc… and the moment you weren't where you were supposed to be RING RING! the alarm bell would sound and you had a short amount of time to blend back in – or continue the escape! The graphics really do the game justice – melancholic black and white to depict a drab war camp – the only colour being the alarm bell and when the game switches to night time. This is when the yellow spotlights come out amidst the blue evening – the best time to find your red cross parcels and continue the tunnel dig before the final push to freedom! I only ever came close to finishing the game once – I had my wirecutters, papers and only the wire fence to get past.. 'you have been shot and re captured' – if only I had taken the compass too.. a fitting end to the man who never escaped the cooler.
Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum
Developer: Denton Designs
Submitted by: Damian Butt
In the year of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, Spectrum owners were treated to one of the finest isometric adventures ever to appear on Sir Clive’s rubber marvel. The Great Escape is set in a Colditz-style POW camp during WWII, and the objective is to escape before your morale is crushed and without alerting the guards and getting thrown into the cooler.
What makes the game so compelling is the attention to detail and a real sense of confinement. The graphics are finely crafted, and clever little touches like the morale flag, the searchlights at night, the hidden tunnels, and the way you default to the camp routine if you stop playing, make the game a true classic. Just look at it.