It's here! Those of us dying to indulge in a spot of insider dealing, detective work and derring-do in the City can at last get down to a game of Corruption. We've already covered the game itself in our preview (AA35), but now the CPC version is finally here. And what do we find?
Sadly, it doesn't seem quite up to the standard we might have hoped for. To be fair, perhaps we shouldn't be complaining at all, since any conversion of a major game for the Amstrad is welcome. Yet there are one or two reservations that must be voiced about this here Corruption.
First of all, the graphics. Unlike The Pawn, which had tremendous pictures on the CPC, Corruption uses a Mode 1 colour display that doesn't have the resolution to do justice to the famous Magnetic Scrolls artwork. You might think that colour was preferable in any case, but since many adventurers play their games in 80-column format (6128 owners in particular), it seems that a really state-of-the-art Mode 2 mono display might have been more impressive. The pictures aren't bad, but they're not up to the usual brilliance we have come to expect from this company.
The other problem is the speed and the way the program has been organised on the disk. There are frequent - no, let me rephrase that: very frequent - disk accesses, and the program seems to go into this suspended animation for brief but intensely irritating periods after almost every entry. You also have to do a fair amount of disk-flipping, which doesn't help.
On the other hand, it must be admitted at once that Corruption, despite these grumbles, is still one of the best games for the CPC in recent months, ranking alongside Ingrid's Back as that rare item, a truly compelling game. Experienced adventurers may find the scenario somewhat limited - the map isn't that large and there aren't many major juicy puzzles you can really get your teeth into - but there are lots of diversions and a strong sense of atmosphere to keep you going.
All in all, then, Corruption is a worthy rather than a classic release from Magnetic Scrolls. Perhaps this is an instance of what might be termed a 'problem of success': produce work such as The Pawn and The Guild of Thieves and people start expecting high quality games every outing. Corruption doesn't quite match those adventures: but then, it's by no means a poor game.