Sinclair User18th September 1985
Published in Sinclair User #44
From the pleasures of rural life we return to the pressures of the big city with the London Adventure from Fridaysoft. Once again we have a Quilled game in text only. I could only find one very obscure reference to a 'quill pen' in the game and assume that to be the credit - perhaps it could have been a bit more prominent?
This game is very much like a computerised A to Z guide to London. There are over 100 locations, many of them well-known London features like Big Ben, Cleopatra's Needle, Madame Tussaud's and so on. The aim is to explore London, which is mapped more or less correctly, to discover the numbers which make up the combination of a safe deposit box. Opening the box will deliver your rightful inheritance. The correct sequence for the numbers will only be given when you've found all eight.
Regrettably, the authors have imposed a limitation which can end the game if you run over a certain level. That is very counter-productive as it stops the kind of leisurely exploration which is a normal pleasure of the genre. Let's keep all that scurrying around for the arcade, eh folks?
In general the description and detail is quite full with a good grasp of London's geography. You can visit most of the major tourist attractions in your quest and there's enough event to keep up your interest. Some of the problems are more at the level of verbal gymnastics, however, and I do feel it's pretty unnecessary to make life difficult for players by not providing adequate synonyms for actions. Using 'through' as a verb instead of 'enter' when you've already allowed it at other points isn't really a puzzle - it simply becomes aggravating and that tends to mean most people will stop playing.
That, along with the turn limitation, reduces the general playability of a game which would not be that bad provided you were really into the idea of exploring London. Not enough for me, and the price is a bit steep for what you get.
Publisher: Fridaysoft, Unit F, The Maltings, Station Road, Sawbridgesworth, Hertfordshire CM21 9JX Price: £4.95 cassette, £6.75 m/drive Memory: 48K