Escape 2042 Review
For $12 on Itch.io, you can get a copy of this game for Windows, Atari STe/Falcon, Jaguar CD, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Gameboy and Dreamcast. I currently do not have an Atari Jaguar with Jaguar CD or an Atari STe or Falcon, so I’ll be stuck with emulation for those versions (and Jaguar emulation is problematic, to say the least!). For the Genesis, GameBoy, and Dreamcast, I’ll be trying on both emulators and original hardware and for Windows, I’ll try a laptop and a desktop, with keyboard and gamepad, to see how well this title plays under a plethora of situations.
Earth 2042 is a game by Orion, an indie developer with experience covering a a plethora of gaming platforms and numerous contributions to retro game development over the years. You can check out the list of games, many of which are free, at http://onorisoft.free.fr/index.html. There’s a likely outdated, but still usable, tutorial for getting started with PSX development on the site, as well as tools covering everything from the TI-89 and PC Engine up to the Dreamcast, Playstation, Gameboy Advance, and GamePark32. It appears based on the domain suffix of .fr that the developer’s primary language is French. Lucky for me, I studied French in high school and university and actually remember enough to read it fairly competently! For Earth 2042 specifically, it has options for English, Spanish, French, and Japanese. That’s definitely a set of languages I can work with except for Japanese!
Earh 2042 is a retro puzzle, precision platformer with pacing closer to that of a Sonic game than Flashback. It’s currently $5.99 on Steam and on Itch.io you can pick it up for $12 with versions for all six platformed mentioned earlier in this article.
Initially, this article was structured by platform, but the game essentially plays identically across Sega Dreamcast, Atari Jaguar, and Sega Genesis, with the sound and slight graphical differences being the only noticeable differences. The sound track, while not featuring that many tracks, is quite good and the sound crisp and clear. The art direction and sound composition mesh well together, creating a 16-bit Flashback-meets-Mega Man aesthetic. Controls are responsive, puzzles are difficult but fair, and the length of the game, while a bit short, is definitely worth the $12.
Come back in the next few days for my coverage of the Game Boy, Atari ST/Falcon, and Windows versions!