An early contender for oddest title of the year, Kobayashi Naru is an icon-driven adventure in which you seek immortality.
Kobayashi Naru consists of three tests which you must complete to achieve their objective.
You have been sent by the Overlord of All to the planet of Ygor where you are waiting in a closed chamber. In front of you are three doors. Each puts you on the path to a different quest to seek out an item of power. The paths lead to knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
The game is controlled using 23 icons. The way they are used in quite unusual. Selecting an icon results in one of three types of action. There is the direct command, such as 'go north' or 'save game'. Secondly, there is the use of objects you have acquired, which are represented by small pictures. If you select an icon such as 'use' it will call up an illustrated inventory for you.
Finally, if you want to analyse an object mentioned in the text, you can highlight the appropriate word by moving a cursor round the text window. This saves you having to type anything in and also gets round the problem of giving too much away - you are given no clues as to what is or is not important.
Mastertronic's previous icon-driven adventure, Zzzzz, didn't work very well but Kobayashi Naru is much better. The game itself should appeal to those people who loathe spending hours searching for exactly the right combination of words necessary to solve a particular problem.