Grange Hill (Argus Press) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

Computer Gamer

Grange Hill
By Argus Press
Spectrum 48K/128K/+2

Published in Computer Gamer #25

Grange Hill

Based on the long-running TV children's series, Grange Hill is an adventure set in and around this famous fictional school.

You play the part of Luke "Gonch" Gardner and start the game in something of a pickle: you have managed to get your Walkman confiscated and your mum is going to kill you if you don't return home with it. Ever since you had your first one stolen, she has insisted on seeing the new one every day, so you have to go back into school and get it back. The fact that the school gates are locked is only a minor setback.

You can rely, at least at the start, on your good friend Hollo - Paul Holloway - who is keen to help, but you will have to work hard to keep him by your side in times of crisis.

Other character you will encounter on your travels are Griffiths, the school caretaker, and the dreaded Imelda. She is a bully of such outrageous proportions that she makes Flashman look like a wimp. A drug pusher also puts in periodic appearances, but if you keep saying no you'll be alright.

The game is a curious hybrid of arcade hybrid of arcade and traditional adventure. Gonch is controlled by joystick for actions such as walking, jumping and climbing, but a press of the fire button brings up a menu of further options. Small pictures illustrate objects present in various locations and most of the option commands refer to these items, e.g. 'pick up'. Talking to someone allows you to type in a row of text. The command 'use' prompts the computer to ask you how you want to use an object.

I like the TV series but, despite this, I didn't find the game inspiring either in gameplay or presentation.