A&B Computing1st December 1984
Published in A&B Computing 2.01
This is a text only adventure, converted from the Spectrum and appears rather influenced in design by The Hobbit. It has a large vocabulary, has a fairly powerful parser, is different each time you play it (i.e. has annoying random elements!) and runs in real time. Other characters come and go and you need to elicit their help if friendly, and get rid of them if not! There is no random or arbitrary killing, which infuriates me in adventures, but you have to eat and drink now and then to maintain your strength.
There is nothing especially original in the content, but the program is generally well written and perfectly playable if you enjoy adventuring. Documentation, so often neglected in computer games, is excellent. You have to get into a fortress, rescue the masterspy Boris and elicit his help in recovering the Fantasia Diamond. I have succeeded with the first two tasks so far without encountering a large number of locations, but I don't know how much is left to do.
One version is supplied on tape to run on both the Electron and the BBC (I tested it on the latter). BBC owners may feel cheated of the extra 7K that could be used in Mode 7, but disc drive owners will be pleased that they have room to transfer the code to disc (the machine code will need downloading before running). A useful tip for BBC owners is that Mode 6 is selected in the short BASIC loader and not changed by the machine code. If you change this to Mode 7, the program appears to run all right with the advantage of the better resolution print.
I suspected the presence of occasional bugs in the program, though it is hard to tell with deliberate random elements. One clear bug in my version was that the program seized up when I typed QUIT.
In summary, nothing outstanding, but a perfectly playable real time adventure if you enjoy this kind of game.