ZX Computing


Publisher: 8th Day
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in ZX Computing #38


Another title from Eighth Day, pioneers in quality budget adventures, and the people behind the wonderful HRH. This is in their new 'Grafix' range, though pictures are conspicuous by their sparsity, and when they do appear, they are distinctly average.

Earthshock has a lot of text, because it is a com"press"ed, Quilled games. On one side of the tape is the text and graphics version, where the words are pretty verbose, on the other is the text only, where veritable floods of text appear. The writing is generally above average, though sometimes tedious.

The theme is a bit dreary, a futuristic fantasy science fiction thingy, where as a member of a post-apocalyptic tribe you must battle wth the droids who have taken over the world. I'm fed up with working out how to use futuristic technology (there always seem to be slots for inserting cards into). Still, there are some nice touches, and the scenario is pleasantly detailed. You receive an admirably full instruction/story booklet, very good for four quid.

The adventure is entertaining enough for budget, though vocabulary is weak (for example, with "a pile of rubble", SEARCH RUBBLE is fruitful, SEARCH PILE and "you find nothing unusual"...!) and the problems are nothing astounding. An innovative feature is 'three way' play - at one point you make a decision which sends you on one of three sub-quests, and determines one of three end-games. So theoretically, you can play three times. Decide for yourself whether this is good or gimmicky.

Some above-average features, enjoyable, but I feel 8th Day are capable of better.