Oldschool Gaming - reviewing new games on classic computers
Main review :: written by Paul 

"Dear Abe,
I have reason to believe you will be visiting me soon, can you please come and visit me, and maybe help to me to escape. I am sick of working in this industrial zone, and there is a Slig watching over me all the time; if I such as move a millimetre away from my post, he is firing off his gun, now, ohh, I have to go, he's coming again. Hope to see you soon.
Your Friend
Alf"

Oddworld: Abe's Escape, is an (unofficial) continuation of that classic game that came in three flavours (shortly to become four, if my sources serve me right), starting with Abe's Oddysee on the Playstation (or PSX as most people know it, which will change when Sony eventually release the PSX although I digress). This was a game I found hard to chew on at first, but eventually I managed to get to grips with it. This was followed with Abe's Exoddus and Munch's Oddysee and there is apparently a new one on the cards called Stranger, but I am yet to see anything further on that. So dropping into my inbox was Oddworld: Abe's Escape on the Sinclair Spectrum. Yes you heard me correct, the speccy... so I had to fire it up and see what it had to offer. So what did I see, actually what I did see, I was very impressed with, considering the last time I saw it, it was on a 2MB, 34Mhz machine and it was being re-released on a 3.54 MHz machine with only 128k... And wow, they have done a good job of it.

So I started to play and, within a few minutes, the whole Playstation experience was coming back to me albeit now in 8 bit and therefore a little bit sluggish, but that was to be expected, I made the usual mistake of diving in without looking at options, which didn't help me really, as I didn't know what keys to press, so I quit back, and got my keys... and away I went. The story is very simple. Abe and his Mudoken race are going to be turned into minced meat, thanks to the profit-motivated Glukkons. Realising his life is threatened; he looks to escape, saving any fellow Mudokens he can find along the way. Principally it is a puzzle game, but it is a fun one at that, you mention a puzzle game, and you will get a few winces, but give them Abe, and they will be going back for more...

There is one thing I did miss, but I can understand as this was coming from a Spectrum, it was the GameSpeak feature of the original; I did used to like the "Follow Me" an "Stay Here", etc, and the funny farts you could do, but again, you can understand this from a lower specification machine. While the principle of Oddworld is not original in any way, the ideas incorporated into the game make this an experience to remember. You will soon learn to love Abe (or even the Mudokens) A good 2D platformer with great gameplay and a sense of that long lost quality, originality.

Second opinion :: written by Andy 

Wow! The Brothers must be a talented bunch to even contemplate squeezing a PlayStation classic into our humble, but well loved Speccy. It's been a while since I've played an Abe game so I downloaded the free, first level, PC demo of Abe's Odyssey from the Oddworld website to invite comparison and I strongly suggest you do the same so you can really appreciate the quality of this conversion. From the quality of the presentation and well detailed graphics, to the screen layouts and puzzles, a few of which replicate the PSX game precisely, this product oozes class.

Obviously, in compressing the game down to 8-bit proportions, some aspects of the original have been lost, most noticeably the amusing sounds that Abe "emits" on the PlayStation. While playing a nice title screen soundtrack, Abe's Mission - Escape on the Spectrum is eerily quiet during play. Not even a famous Sinclair beep. Additionally and perhaps inevitably, the Spectrum incarnation plays somewhat slower that it's PlayStation counterpart.

However, these minor niggles aside, the atmosphere and playability of Oddworld - Abe's Odyssey has been retained and thus Abe's Mission - Escape is an enjoyable and challenging game that I shall be returning to frequently. Very impressive.

Information

ODDWORLD: ABE'S ESCAPE

Format Sinclair Spectrum
Developer Brothers
Publisher Abzac Magazine
Released 2002
Price Free
Review Paul and Andy
Download Available
Screenshots
Titles Screen
Titles Screen
In-game Screen
In-game Screen
Scores
Graphics
Sound
Playability
Lastability
8
4
7
7
   Overall 7
Content copyright © 2004-2014 Oldschool Gaming     Designed and hosted by Enisoc Design