Kobayashi Naru (Mastertronic) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


Kobayashi Naru
By Mastertronic
Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #25

Kobayashi Naru

Once upon a time there were lots of little people in attics writing adventure software for the Spectrum computer. These games had tiny vocabularies, no pictures, and the puzzles were often very difficult. Ask anyone who triumphed over the early Artic games what it means to be *really* stuck in an adventure!

Nowadays we still get games with tiny vocabularies, but usually they are subtly disguised as something else. Kobyashi Naru is one of these, but don't let that put you off - I reckon that for the throwaway price it's worth a fling, if only to get your penny's worth of frustration.

This adventure has a very original screen presentation - lots of icons scattered around the top which you select with keyboard or joystick. Suppose you select USE... The program then highlights one of the words in the location description, or an item from your inventory and you move this highlight until you settle upon the word depicting the item you wish to use. Then you press Fire (or the space bar) and the command is executed. My only grouse is that if you select QUIT by mistake you don't get asked for confirmation and find yourself right back at the beginning of the game before you can say Kobywhatsitsname.

That's quite a neat little system for £1.99. The game itself involves choosing one of three quests and returning from it with an object - get the three correct objects and you join with the immortals, having completed the Naru and entered the Order.

Harmless claptrap; nice screen design; unusual gameplay system; infuriating puzzles; some nice small-scale graphics that show your current location, the objects you carry, and occasional textual reports on your surroundings; and various little bits of scrolling window display and a nice redesigned character set... Well now, that's not a bad list for £1.99, is it? If you've got money to waste, why not waste it? And if you haven't, don't fret, because you're not missing anything earth-shaking.