Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 40 / SEPTEMBER 1983 / PAGE 180

Getaway! For The Atari

Stephen Levy, Assistant Editor

Getaway!, by Mark Reid, is an arcade-style game which takes advantage of the Atari's graphics capabilities. Since the game board - a town map - is approximately 35 screens, the player sees only part of the town at any one time. The player uses a joystick to view other areas of town.
    The object of the game is to race all over, stealing as much loot as possible, and then return to your hideout before the police catch you. The game progresses through several levels, but, in the end, justice prevails when the thief is caught. Your score is based on the amount of loot you are able to stash in your hideout.

Smart Police
There are a number of ways to collect loot. But the greatest rewards come from catching the white armored van. The police don't seem to bother you much until you make the big heist, then their chase is relentless. The more loot you gather or the higher the level, the more energetic their pursuit.
    The graphics in Getaway! are detailed and appealing. Smooth scrolling is provided by easy joystick control. The sound is realistic; the challenge is exciting and the game becomes more difficult the more effectively you play. And the instruction manual is complete and easy to understand.

Touring The Town
The first time I played Getaway! I was impressed by the detail of the graphics. In fact, I was so intrigued that I put off actually playing until I'd toured the town. Using the black and white map of the town supplied in the user's manual, I was able to "drive" to see all the sights. The town has high-rise buildings, a river, trees, schools, bridges, factories, and three very important gas stations. Each feature is impressive by itself, but taken together, the effect is delightful.
    The sound, too, is impressive. When a police car nears, you are aware of it before you see it, because its siren warns you. With experience, you will be able to estimate the distance by the siren's volume.
    Fine graphics and sound are always important to a good game, but the game must also play well. You can think of Getaway! as a variation of a maze game in the same sense that PacMan is. The difference is that, in Getaway! there is much more variety and detail to deal with. The ever-present police are only the beginning. As in any town, stop signs seem to appear whenever you are in a rush. And just when you are about to reach the hideout, you notice that you are running out of gas. If you are new at the game or haven't kept your bearings, those three gas stations can be hard to find.
    Time also becomes a factor: additional stop signs will appear, and the police begin setting up roadblocks as the game progresses. The police also seem to become more aware of your whereabouts in the night scenario.

For Any Age
The game's beginning levels are easy enough for a child to enjoy. Adults and more experienced game players will also find the challenge satisfactory. If you manage to get to the fifth level - no easy task - the bonus is an extra getaway car. It comes with a price, though; the game becomes truly challenging at this point.
    If you like chase-type, fast-action games; if you are looking for an Atari game the whole family will enjoy; or if you are willing to take the time to become skilled at a game (it takes time to learn the map and all the techniques needed to get to the upper levels), Getaway! will surely satisfy you.

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