October 24, 2001
Portal Runner - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price

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Peaceful views, before the carnage.
By looking at the official logo for this game you easily could be forgiven for thinking it was somehow related to a new Indiana Jones movie or the LucasArts developed computer games. While it isn't actually related at all, the settings and adventure could easily be turned into one of the classic movies. Doubtful, however, is that this game could ever reach the stunning standards set by the Harrison Ford movie. Portal Runner is actually a brand new game from 3DO in America, and is a spin off from their Army Men games. Let me introduce Vikki G. and Leo The Lion (how original!) to you all.

Believing she is following a lead on a story that could be her big break, ace investigative reporter Vikki G. is actually falling into a diabolical trap set by her nemesis, the beautiful Blue super spy Brigitte Bleu! Suddenly, Vikki and Leo were hurled through a Portal over distance and time into a strange new world. They must work together to find Portals, battle deadly foes, solve tricky puzzles, and explore unknown worlds. They must search for their own way home.

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Green mist is never a good sign.
It all started when the notorious Blue spy, Brigitte Bleu, on her constant quest for power, discovered the mysterious Portals leading into new unexplored worlds. It didn't take long before she proclaimed herself Queen of these new realms. But when she wasn't happy being their sole sovereign and decided she needed a "King" worthy of her hand, she set her sites on Vikki's boyfriend, Sarge! Brigitte knew the only way she'd have a chance with Sarge is to take Vikki out of the picture permanently. It took an anonymous tip of a news story about these new worlds to lure her to a secret meeting place where she was thrust into strange worlds.

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Lighting should improve by release.
This game is comprised of 5 fantasy filled worlds and over 25 separate levels. With over 35 different enemies including raptors, bats, alien lords, lions and dragons there will definitely be a lot of variety in the game. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Portal Runner is the different ways in which you can play the game. It's possible to either play as Vikki alone, with Leo at her side, Vikki riding Leo, or on the prowl as Leo himself! Portal Runner also includes 6 multi-player levels which should provide some fun for a while.

Portal Runner is shaping up quite nicely although it's hard to forget that the game is merely a spin off from 3DO's mediocre Army Men series (see reviews of Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 and Army Men: Green Rogue to see what I mean). The game is already available in America and has just been confirmed for a pre-Christmas release in Australia. It's sad that it was announced on the same day that Wipeout Fusion was delayed until 2002. I know which one I would rather play on December 25.