Rapidly leaving the rather humdrum Starstrike II behind, we open the box marked classics in the Your Sinclair Top 100 and hope our next game isn’t so disheartening. Taking a glance at the cover of No.#23 I’m sure that The Great Escape – from Ocean Software – will not let us down one bit…I hope.
The Great Escape was delivered in a Red Cross parcel to us in 1986 – from Denton Designs – in this case John Heap, who also delivered the strategic movie tie-in Alien and the brilliant Where Time Stood Still. Here in the game inspired by the film of the same name, you play an unnamed prisoner in a high secure German P.O.W. camp back in 1942. Your plan is to escape this incarcerated life using careful planning, your honed skills, numerous resources found around the camp and most of all patience. Always be aware however that the German guards are on high alert and are constantly looking out for anyone attempting to make a break for freedom.
This 3D isometric game is a true classic, it really is – here is a ZX Spectrum game that brings a level of maturity to gaming, along with some splendid looking graphics. Granted its look is nothing fantastically impressive, there are no bells and whistles or laser-beams etc., however due to it being “just right” back in 1986 it has managed to stay “just right” thirty years later in 2016.
Nothing can be rushed in The Great Escape. Careful planning is needed and this sings back to the maturity spoke of earlier – if you begin to get cocky you’ll find yourself in solitary thanks to the watchful gaze of the prison guards.
John Heap really did devise an excellent game that has lasted through the decades, and if you’re stuck for something classic to play today look no further than The Great Escape.