Personal Compuer Games1st January 1985
Published in Personal Computer Games #14
It says on the cover of this game that it's 'a strong intellectual challenge', which is no doubt why someone in the office completed it after just a few attempts!
In this text-only game, you're a staunch village elder whom the village is relying on to obtain their much-needed school and clinic. What can you do?
First, faced with a choice of five appropriate options, one of them being Quit Game, you use your talent to pick the right one.
Each major decision affects the determination of the village of Holdfast and of the Government. Both of these are displayed at the top of the screen in the form of a percentage, underneath which are your choices, such as 'Negotiate' and 'Indirect Action'.
Once you've chosen, you're confronted with another set of decisions.
After this the initial menu reappears with perhaps one or two more additions, you check your villagers' determination and are off again.If you manage to keep Holdfast's morale up for four weeks (be brave!) a vaguely heartwarming message appears on the screen telling you the flags are flying and you're getting on reasonably well. I'm not sure this does much for your morale but I suppose it gives you some kind of incentive to carry on playing.
The whole game seems to be a rather simplified version of multiple choice and all you've got to do is pick the right answers in the right order. I don't think it will hold the interest of many intelligent people for long. Perhaps it should say on the cover (after the intellectual bit, of course) 'for children under ten'.
Apart from the presentation being lousy, the game's quite addictive - until you've solved it, and since there's only a message to congratulate you, no fancy tune or graphically amazing screen, it's not really worth it.
I would have enjoyed this battle against tyranny much more if the scenario wasn't so repetitive with the same basic method of success every time.
It would also have been better if the choice of options had been more varied. Once you've learned the pattern of negotiation, non-cooperation and furthering support you just have to repeat them to succeed.
While you're learning these procedures I found it annoying that the machine kept deciding that I had lost without even consulting me - cheek!
Otherwise, the game arouses all my rebellious attitudes although it all seems a bit excessive just to get a hospital and a school.
It's a pity that this game doesn't go the whole hog and let you overthrow the state, but then revolution isn't exactly a run-of-the-mill topic for a computer game.
I thought the game could have been jazzed up with a bit more action over which you have control. The all-text nature of the game is also a let-down, particularly when many of the situations provide chances for at least a picture if not some actual action.