1,163 Posts

Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by catbag8717 on Sep 23, 14 12:37 AM
A thread for your reviews!

Edited on 09/23/2014 at 6:26:01 AM PST


Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by JustTheFacts on Sep 23, 14 2:50 AM
Clever Combination Of Gameplay Features****


Nice opening, with the cut scenes just a little bit too basic for comfort, but a wonderful voiceover actress and a unique story. There is certainly the expectation that this is going to be interesting.

Barring the cut scenes, the graphics are good – clear, sufficiently detailed, attractive. Most importantly the HOP scenes are bright and clean. They are tricky enough in their own right, they don’t need questionable graphics! The voice actors throughout, while not perfect, do a fine job of clear diction and appropriate emotions. I particularly liked that the dialogues between our character and those she meets are ‘real’. They are the normal reactions of a distraught mother to petty officialdom and are the most convincing I’ve ever seen/heard. You also have dialogue options in some cases. The music and ambient sounds are present and comfortable, but not intrusive. There is, of course, the constant train noise.

At an expo of locomotives, your children climb aboard the famous Runaway Express, are grabbed by the Engineer (?), and the train takes off. You barely manage to grab onto the caboose. Breaking into the train and moving forward through the carriages is about as difficult as you’d expect it to be, and then things get worse! Eventually, you reach other people, but the one person who may be able to help is weird and ill-looking, and not as helpful as you think he could be. Somehow, you are roped into solving his problem – a total lack of recall about himself and what he is doing on this train. This is your first ‘case’, and your first step towards rescuing your children.

This is one aspect of the game that is a bit careless. We somehow morph from concerned mother to deft detective, complete with the analytical skills and tools required. It is a leap not supported by the story.

The gameplay is an intriguing mix of things we’ve seen elsewhere, used in new ways. The HOPs are progressive silhouettes (find and use), at least, some items are. Others are simply ‘find and they disappear’. The search list is on the right side of the monitor, which changes your thinking about it more than you’d think.

On the left side, you have the tools of the detective trade that you found in a Paris alley (yeah, I know, weird, right?). You can use the magnifier, fingerprint kit, luminol and flashlight to find handprints and blood stains, as well as the standard items. The first time confronted with this array of tools, I was at a complete loss as to where they could be most profitably used. I mean, we surely weren’t going to dust the whole scene for prints, right? Right! Where to use the tools is, in this first scene, indicated by an array of hints, if you can decipher them. After that you are on your own. – and in the harder two of three difficulty levels, there is a misclick penalty. I know people will scream, but I can see it makes sense here. The result is a very difficult series of HOP scenes which while doing nothing we have not seen before, are rendered unique in combination.

The puzzles are again not especially new, but they bring their own degree of difficulty with them. Still, not as complex as the HOPs. The adventure is intuitive and I had no trouble following the logic of the actions, and there is a notebook, task list, interactive jump map, and directional hint. You can also expect inventory items that need additional steps or parts, or closer examination.

That is not all that this game requires you to master. As well, we have an evidence board (don’t ask me how), and as we acquire evidentiary items we must place them in one of the three columns on the board – motive, crime scene, suspect – and draw conclusions from it. This is made too easy (at least in the easiest level of difficulty) by having pale silhouettes of the items in the correct columns. Still, it is very satisfying to see the case all come together, and watch the inescapable conclusion become obvious.

The game could have used a little tweeking on the story, but I am very impressed, particularly when I discovered the only previous pc game this developer has made (Lost Civilisation aka NiBiRu rip-off), was neither original nor clever, and caused a major furore at its release. They obviously learned from the last effort, and I am always happy to see a developer come back with obvious improvements.

Well done Icarus!!
I recommend this game!

29 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by Plientje on Sep 23, 14 3:21 AM
Great whodunnit story! Love it! Wonderful SE!!

You visit a train exhibition with your children, when suddenly the old steam train takes off, with your children on it! Of course you jump into the train to save your children! And then the fun starts! You discover this very beautiful train, with intriguing characters in it. You have to find out what happened to these people and solve the crime they were involved in. To do so, you have to search the train, travel to Paris and visit some beautiful buildings and streets. I guess later on you get to visit some other cities as well. You get an evidence-kit, with witch you can find fingerprints and bloodstains, and an evidence-board, where you store all the clues.

The setting of this game is in the 1920's in the real world, no fantasyworld behind some kind of portal. Loved that!
Graphics are very beautiful and colorful, without being only pink and purple (phew, finally!). VOS are done really good, they really bring the story to life, with some well done lip-synch. The story is really engrossing and captivating, and as it unfolds and you find more clues it grabs you and you want to find out more! The music is done very good and adds to the feel of the story.

The HOS are fun, you have to use your evidence kit to find bloodstains and fingerprints, and the rest of the items can be very interactive and sometimes have to be used to find other items etc.
Puzzles are known but brought in a fun way. Not too difficult but not very easy either!

I liked the level of difficulty in this game, it's not as 'childishly' easy as some games are lately. But the gameplay flows well, is logical and forwards at a nice pace, and therefore makes it very nice to play.

I really love this game, and for a SE it's executed extremely well! Definately worth buying (or using a PCC on it)!
It's downloading now and I can't wait to go on playing it! Try it and have fun, I'm sure you'll like it!

427 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by Hapless on Sep 23, 14 3:27 AM
Good Morning Justhefacts. What a brilliant review, I wish I could write them like that.
I am so enjoying this game,I don't know if its the train or the Mothers voice, but it so reminds me of Siberia.

I agree with everything you say.


3,292 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by Daxadillion on Sep 23, 14 5:11 AM
Based on the demo which I played on Casual mode, thank goodness I didn't chose Advanced or Expert mode as I would have been completely lost.

The opening screen had me standing in front of the locked train door and that was it, so it was just as well I had read in full the description of the game on the game page. Also the custom cursor was jumping around all over the place so I switched it off which was rather boring - I will say more about this paragraph at the end of my review.

Voice Overs - excellent
HOS - very interactive and good IMO although I did use a few hints.
Evidence Board - I dont really like this feature in games preferring everything to go into my journal but it does automatically help you put the evidence in the correct place if you have once or twice attempted to put it in the wrong place.
Detective Tools - used both in the game play and HOS.
Map - it's a jump map but I cannot remember if it highlights where there are active tasks.
Collectables - when searching for the next thing to do or view I opened a small window with just a chair in it and a small round object on the floor which I picked up. Suddenly a window opened which said something along the lines of "Congratulations, you have found another collectable"!! What?? I don't even remember collecting the first one.

Now to add to my comments in paragraph 2 above after reading the reviews from Just The Facts and Plientje, I had no cut scenes at the beginning of the game, I clicked the play button on the menu page and was instantly standing in front of the train door and that was it. I think there must have been a glitch during the download so I will delete the game in the hope that I get the cut scenes with the next download.

Neither of the Reviewers spotted the collectables unless that was another mistake in the download

Also halfway through the demo I changed back to the custom cursor to find it had settled down on its own.


Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by bfgGlithui on Sep 23, 14 6:28 AM
Hello everyone,

Welcome to the reviews thread! Please feel free to post your thoughts and feedback on Runaway Express Mystery here. We appreciate the time you take to put your reviews together, and I know other gamers and the developers do as well. We just have a few guidelines to keep in mind when posting. Our goal with these is to keep the thread tidy, easy to navigate and helpful.

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266 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by jdelbove on Sep 23, 14 6:28 AM
worst game ever in almost 11 years. Definite NO BUY FOR ME!

702 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by bluejen on Sep 23, 14 9:55 AM
jdelbove wrote:worst game ever in almost 11 years. Definite NO BUY FOR ME!

[Removed by Moderator]

Edited on 10/06/2014 at 9:23:28 AM PST

387 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by tesamoine on Sep 23, 14 10:47 AM
Great little SE offering, FINALLY. TY BFG HOS are varied. Puzzles are a bit tricky. Acting voices pull you into the story (very well done). Graphics are great. Story is interesting. No tech issues that I encountered. I will purchase this one... yayyyy... finally a game I actually like !!! I believe for some reason it is going to be a short game, but at this point, a good game that I enjoy is better than the latest games that have been offered. Enjoy And there ARE collectibles for those interested

203 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by pungstress on Sep 23, 14 11:00 AM
jdelbove wrote:worst game ever in almost 11 years. Definite NO BUY FOR ME!

Although I don't think it's the worst in 11 years, in light of how advanced these types of games have become, it was pretty lame.
Did not grab my attention at all. I played all of 10 minutes of the demo before closing it up.
No buy for me.

118 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by caput on Sep 23, 14 12:09 PM
I only played around ten minutes also and found the game jerky. Seems like this may be one they have brought out of mothballs. No buy for me for sure.

244 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by Radgame on Sep 23, 14 12:29 PM
Based on demo + a definite buy w/ a PCC on BP Monday:

A refreshingly different SE w/ good gameplay, decent story and eyes said merci beaucoup for crispness and clarity. The watercolour look on the street views gave it an authentic 1920s effect along w/ the gaudy train and hotel decor.

The puzzles were a nice mix ranging from easy to 'takes time'. While the HOPs are unique, some objects are quite hard to spot. The detective kit thingy is cool....just wish it were more specific than random clicking. The magnifying glass goes cuckoo whenever there's new clues to post on the Evidence Board! Had I played w/ sound on, it probably shrieks......Ici, ici!

Overall, no tech. issues or gimmicks or anything ridiculous. Easy to navigate even w/o the directional hint and an updated transport map (very helpful since I play over several days).

A huge thanks to you JTF for the detailed reviews! I agree w/ the +ve reviews posted here. Since I rarely buy CEs, I felt this is a good standalone SE.

ETA: Finished playing game - totally enjoyed it!

Edited on 10/03/2014 at 5:32:11 PM PST

804 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by sunnyglow on Sep 23, 14 1:12 PM


It is "Mardi Gratis" and time for another fantastic SE at no cost to "moi." After last week's "crumby" CE offerings, I am starving for some decent game refreshment. Like an avid Walmart shopper, I am redeeming my BF fish food stamps (AKA coupon) to "purchase" this game.

STORY: It's mom to the rescue in a game reminiscent of the "Polar Express" in collision with themes from "Murder on The Orient Express." Playing Amanda Waters, your two adorable tots enter an abandoned train at a museum, and mysteriously - the train fires up with your children on board. You jump on the train as well only to discover that your children are missing and somewhere within the train. Chugging along, you to realize this is not your normal train - it seems to be inhabited by ghosts from a 1908 train crash. Playing detective, you investigate each of the ghostly stories finding clues and evidence beginning with Lord Parkinson.

LEVELS: There are three levels of difficulty. The hardest level does allow you to "skip" puzzles.

GRAPHICS: The graphics vary throughout the demo. Some parts were well-done and some grainy on my computer.

SOUND OF/AND "MUZAC:" There are voiceovers and they are well-done. The "muzac" is not distracting in the game.

HOP SCENES, INVENTORY, PUZZLES: THE BEST PART OF THE GAME AND SO INNOVATIVE! The HOP scenes are interactive and puzzle-like as is the inventory. The puzzles I detected are not too difficult. As a detective you receive a detective kit with supplies within it to collect evidence on each phantom in the train.

MAP: Surprisingly there is a map which indicative active areas within the train and transports you to those sites.



NOTE TO ALL BF POND DWELLERS - This week's PixIES Toulouse Lautrec masterpiece is an eye candy FEAST (about time BF) - so stay tuned for my review (already done - I am SO good and why I get paid "big bucks") on Thursday. Now - back to work on my project.

BTW - Welcome back JTF! We have missed your reviews.

586 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by steve_san on Sep 23, 14 3:56 PM

Runaway Success

The year is 1996. You and your two children are enjoying a train exhibition. They are off exploring when suddenly the "exhibition" train begins to move! Uh-oh! Children! "Mommy, mommy!" Too late you realize that this is no ordinary train.

I'll stop there as I don't want to include spoilers. But this is not really a missing children story as much as it is a murder mystery. And the story does not take place in 1996. Your detective work involves collecting evidence and sorting it on your evidence board. There are more puzzles than hidden object scenes based on the trial time. There is also a journal - and that's good because there are many facts to remember.

There is an old-school feel to the game because of the drawing style and that the scenes have few interactive areas. So it is somewhat stiff. On the flip side, the hidden object scenes have a lot of interaction. They are progressive style, and you'll sometimes need your evidence kit to find items. Puzzles are also innovative in design, interesting and challenging though they won't WOW you from a technical standpoint.

Voices are pleasant to hear and well acted, though the french accents are a little forced. Sounds are good. This may be a first: they actually have a tinkling sound for the old "key dropping on the newspaper" trick. On the minus side, you still have to click on keys to turn them.

Seems like an interesting and satisfying game, especially if you are a fan of murder mysteries. Rescue your kids, solve a murder and don't miss the Runaway Express.

Four choo-choos:

UPDATE after completing game: The story drags a little in the middle, gets a little repetitive, then takes a strange twist at the end. There are a few noticeable item misspellings and QC issues - a character is referred to as both James and William. Also some of the scene transitions and dialog were not well synchronized resulting in some dialog getting cut off. For those reasons I an downgrading this to three choo choo's. It is still a decent game to play, but the production quality needs improvement.

Edited on 10/03/2014 at 10:36:22 AM PST

236 Posts

A fun little game!

[Post New]by pgillenw on Sep 24, 14 12:23 AM

428 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by laraly on Sep 24, 14 3:44 AM
(Based on the demo) Charming game, I really liked it! Refreshing and fluid to play, (I played in advance mode) excellent graphics, very good puzzles and hos, an engaging mistery very well done! Definetly a buy for me!

104 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by rdekker1 on Sep 24, 14 8:59 PM
I will certainly be buying this game. It had pretty much everything I like. Except the shadow Ho which I don't like but that isn't enough to stop me from buying. And of course the demo quit just before I found out who the killer was. Now I have to buy it just to find out.

Just finished the game and I loved it. The only problem for me was that it was to short. I wanted to keep playing.

Edited on 09/30/2014 at 4:51:13 PM PST

730 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by Cromaxgal on Sep 25, 14 8:33 PM
jdelbove wrote:worst game ever in almost 11 years. Definite NO BUY FOR ME!

BORING....Only played 30 minutes

20 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by damgame on Sep 26, 14 6:18 PM
I think this an enjoyable game. I've never heard of these developers but based on this one they can be really good. I have a free game so its a buy for me.

79 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Runaway Express Mystery here!

[Post New]by moetoole on Sep 27, 14 8:51 AM
I enjoyed this game. Tougher Puzzles, and finding Invisible hidden objects.

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