Adventure Pack (Microdeal) Review | Home Computing Weekly - Everygamegoing

Home Computing Weekly

Adventure Pack
By Microdeal

Published in Home Computing Weekly #132

The saying goes "yer gets what yer pays for", and that certainly applies to this package from Microdeal. The pack contains three text adventures, Williamsburg, Ultimate and Castle Dracula. They are all straight conversions from programs which appeared on the Dragon 32. Little has been done to improve them, although use has been made of the function keys to provide commonly used commands.

Castle Dracula and Williamsburg follow the usual walk around, collect items and solve the puzzles theme - although the puzzles were a little thin on the ground - they even have mazes. In Castle Dracula, you play the part of one Baron Von Helsing, who very foolishly loses his wife during the night, I'm sure I don't have to fill in the rest of the plot. There is little atmosphere to the adventure, with location descriptions limited to one or two sentences, and only a very few puzzles. On the whole I found it rather boring.

WilJiamsburg seems a little better, alt hough descriptions are still as terse. The idea in this second adventure is to find the legendary? Golden Horseshoe. To do this you must wander around the colonial town of Williamsburg collecting items in a specific order whilst trying to deal with sarcastic waiters, parish ghosts and absent minded students, to name a few. There is more to think about in Williamsburg than in Castle Dracula, and there are even vague signs of humour.

One thing that I found disturbing about both the above games was the need to shoot or.

kill innocent bystanders to reach your objectives. Von Helsing is turned into some sort of Transylvanian Dirty Harry, and your character in Williamsburg would make Rambo quake! I think most people would prefer to use their wits in an adventure, not the pointy end of a gun.

Finally we come to Ultimate, which is far from it. The Adventure involves buying items in a market and then wandering off to various locations to find seven hidden treasures, which you then return to the market to collect a reward. There is some initial interest in discovering how useful certain items are in some situations - the minesweeper in the minefield for example - but this soon wears off. The objective is to make £1,000 profit - I reckon you need to find the treasures about four times to do this - and with no save routine this is definitely one for insomniacs.

At first sight three adventures for under seven quid seems like excellent value. However looks can be deceptive, all three are dated and are written in 1000/0 basic. Microdeal I .ckon that the programs are aimed at the 10 year 'olds who would be able to break into the program: and learn from them - a littk like Entersoft's non-starter range. Actually being written in BASIC did prove an advantage as I could get around the bugs in two of the programs, Castle Dracula and Ultimate. These have now been corrected, although any packs bought at the PCW show will contain duff tapes and should be returned to Microdeal for replacement.