No Escape! (Imagic)
This genre bender cones from the same time period as one of my previous Imagic reviewees Laser Gates. This was a period of great decline for the company as the crash was getting into full swing and Imagic hadn’t prepared in the slightest, leading to its untimely demise in 1984, I already spoke about the death of Imagic in my Laser Gates review so let’s move on from that, shall we? The first thing that immediately strikes me about No Escape! is that box art, wow, that guy looks so out of it, at least I know where all the budget went for this particular title, I’m sure gluing wings on an actual horse is not cheap. The manual is also a work of art in and of itself; the top of each page is lined with images drawn in the style of the Greek Red Figure pottery as well as all the pictures in the manual that are not screenshots of the game. It seems the programmers did a bit more research into Ancient Greek mythology since the premise of the game also fits in with the mythology of the time as well, so far so good, but a game can’t be carried by the manual and box alone, is the game any good?
No Escape! looks pretty good, albeit simple. There isn’t a lot to this game, you have the temple outline with the rainbow roof of death, you have Jason running about on the bottom of the screen rendered in four colors (even though his skin is grey), you have the Furies whizzing across the screen each level has a new colorful design, and at the very end of the game the temple collapses and Jason flies away on Pegasus. So like many Imagic titles the game may not be visually astonishing but the game is technically impressive instead. All the Furies move smoothly and are flicker-free, the roof is rendered brick by brick and can be disassembled as such, it’s all very impressive.
No Escape! isn’t going to win any awards for sound quality. The main sound you’ll be hearing is a rhythmical low buzzing/whooshing noise that is somewhat reminiscent is Wizard of Wor, it changes in tempo and rhythm after every round. Otherwise you have basic beeps ‘n boops with a fairly layered and chunky explosion noise whenever you hit an enemy. I don’t hate the sounds but I can’t blame anybody for wanting to press the mute button.
I don’t really know what to classify No Escape! As, it could be an action game, or it could be a reactionary puzzle game, perhaps it’s a reactionary action puzzle game; that sounds about right. The premise of this game is that you are the famous Greek hero Jason who is trapped in the Temple of Aphrodite with a load of angry Furies (not angry Furries, though it don’t know which is scarier). The gods are displeased with Jason after he stole the Golden Fleece, now, armed only with rocks, Jason must match his wits with increasingly clever enemies, but there is No Escape! Unlike with many of these move-around-on-the-bottom-of-the-screen-and-shoot-at-things games you’re not actually shooting at the enemies, you’re shooting at the ceiling. The only thing that can destroy these creatures are the sacred bricks that make up the roof of the temple, so you need to time your shot just right so the brick you shot will intercept an enemy and kill it. Later rounds have the enemies avoiding the bricks altogether leading you to need to trick them into moving into them, and enemies the will sporadically dodge. My main problem with this game is the actual shooting since shooting while moving will cause your shot to launch to the side then go straight up, ruining your aim.
Overall this is a fairly fun game to pick up every once in a while but it’s definitely a pick up and put down game and sadly, since this is one of Imagic’s later releases, No Escape! Isn’t a very cheap game. Loose copies on Ebay go from anywhere between 7-20 dollars and boxed copies are anywhere between fifty and sixty dollars, that’s just way too much. I’m putting No Escape! In the Collector’s Zone for simply being too expensive for its own good.