C&VG


Infidel

Author: Paul Coppins
Publisher: Infocom
Machine: Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Computer & Video Games #37

Infidel

It must be said that hunting for lost pyramids in the vast deserts of Egypt is not one of the most original ideas to have come from Infocom to date.

But in Infidel, that is just where you find yourself - marooned in the desert with only your thoughts to keep you company.

This has come about because the work-force who were supposed to be helping you in the search for a lost pyramid have just made off with your supplies, leaving you well and truly up the Nile, as it were.

Infidel

Cursing the day you first set eyes on this shower, you decide that past events are not going to deter you in your search for the pyramid, even if it means you have to do all the digging yourself.

I set forth, with the aid of an instruction book and a few other items, thoughtfully provided for you in the package. Among the other items is a map that indicates the best place to start digging.

That may make pyramid-finding sound easy - but once you've seen one sand dune, you've seen them all! Keep your fingers crossed that the wonders of modern science come to your rescue!

Infidel

So I found the pyramid and, once inside, expected the usual treasure hunting and mummy-dodging problems.

Infocom, of course, do things just that little bit differently. There may have been the odd item of treasure lying around, but not so much as one rampaging mummy was to be seen.

I soon became clear that this was an adventure with one ultimate goal - to find and open the sarcophagus of the Queen for whom the pyramid had been built.

Infidel

The pyramid was designed to keep its occupant safe for that eternal sleep, and built into it are many traps and devices to foil blundering adventurers like yourself.

These range from a simple little trick, like the whole floor disappearing - and you with it, into a bottomless pit - to the more discreet flying large lumps of rock. What happens when one hits you doesn't bear thinking about!

Things are not all one-sided, though, for these are some clues to help you on your way, in the form of hieroglyphics. If you can spot the difference or similarity between them, you could just find your way to a new level in the pyramid, or discover the answer to one of its more difficult puzzles.

Infidel

I found Infidel great fun to play, for this adventure into Egypt had a sense of humour that appealed to me. I must point out, however, that if you are an adventurer who thrives on very difficult puzzles, then this might not be for you, since it seemed to slot into the category of "easy to moderate". It would serve a newcomer to Infocom games very well, perhaps as an introduction to the range.

But what really made me sit up and pay attention whilst playing this adventure in the sun, didn't come until the very end, when I was deep inside the pyramid. I was at any moment expecting to get a "Congratulations, you've won!" message, when what actually appeared was so unexpected that I just had to play Infidel all over again to make sure it said what I thought it said. It did. To find out what that was, you'll have to play Infidel yourself, because I am not going to tell you!! But it must surely be one of the most original adventure endings to date, if not of all time.

Infidel is from Infocom for Atari 400/800 32K, Apple II 32K, IBM PC 48K, Commodore 64, TRS-80 Models I and III 32K, TI Professional and PDP-11. Price varies between the different versions.

Paul Coppins

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