Escape on VIC-20 – The DVDfever Review

Escape is a new game for the VIC-20. Yes, the Commodore VIC-20, a home computer released in 1981, and the precursor to the Commodore 64, but while the machine was discontinued in January 1985, there’s still a vibrant home market for this and other computers and consoles of the era.

It’s a simple affair of travelling through a maze in your yellow spaceship, avoiding the blue one which can really get in your way at times (and with no way to blast it out of existence), and collecting a keycard, which is as straight-forward as travelling straight over it… well, straight-forward if it’s easily on your way, but sometimes, it’s tucked down one of the alleyways, as it spawns into a random place on the board every time.

On Level 1, there’s one key, then for level 2, there’s two, and then three on level 3, and so on. However, the keys only appear one at a time, so when I saw just the one on level 2, I thought the game was repeating the first level, and the key was close to the exit. Could I make it back after the second one appeared? No…

I finally managed to complete the first level, and then I thought – level 2’s just a repeat of the first… but the key was close to the exit. Could I make it back after the second one appeared? No… 😀

Hence, this game is one which both delights and infuriates in equal measure. As you’ll see from the gameplay video, it looks deceptively simple, and elements of it are, but forget to turn at the right moment, or let your adrenaline get the better of you, and you’re easily dead meat. Either way, it has that ‘just one more go’ factor.

For anyone not familiar with the VIC-20, the graphics are simple because they’re how the computer looked back in the day, and this is for an unexpanded 8K machine, or in my case, the VICE emulator, which is very simple to use. I played the original machine at a friend’s house from time to time, and longed for one myself, but alas, that was never to be.

For the sound, I love the intro music to a level, as it reminds me of early arcade games in the late ’70s/early ’80s, and instantly transports me back to those days.

This is great fun, and if you can find a way to make it play on your PC at work, and if there was a mobile phone version, I’d be well away with it!

After play this for about 30 minutes, I think I needed some vodka to calm my nerves!

Score: 7/10

Escape is out now on the VIC-20, and can be downloaded from Masterware Entertainment’s site

The VICE emulator homepage is here, and the Windows (32-bit and 64-bit available) versions are at the top of this page.

Important info:

  • Developer: Rainer Kappler
  • Publisher: Masterware Entertainment
  • Players: single player

Escape on VIC-20 – DVDfeverGames