Mystery Of The Java Star (Shards) Review | Home Computing Weekly - Everygamegoing

Home Computing Weekly

Mystery Of The Java Star
By Shards
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Home Computing Weekly #110

This is billed as an educational adventure for the family in four parts. The story starts with your purchase of a chest in which you find the fragments of the log book of the long sunk Sea Witch. Your task is to mount an expedition to the Caribbean to search for it, and thus recover the gold and the mysterious Java Star, a ruby which appears to burn all who touch it.

In fact, this isn't an adventure as I understand the term. It's more like a series of linked puzzles through which you gain clues to the next part of the story. The program itself is written in BASIC which, though perfectly satisfactory in itself, means that the game is split into four parts, each loaded separately, and each dependent on the completion of the previous part.

Whilst any CPC464 user would be pleased to achieve this level of programming competence, in comparison with the best currently available, the graphics and sound are rather crude, and seemingly capricious changes in the tense of the narrative rather negate the supposedly educational nature of the game.

The puzzles themselves are rather tedious. For example, various fragments of a paper are shown jumbled on the screen. By entering co-ordinates you swap the bits until it makes sense, though a complete version is shown briefly if you ask for help. This completed, you must then rearrange fragments of a map using exactly the same means. I found this boring.


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