Sinclair User2nd January 1987
Published in Sinclair User #60
Wrightchoice Software is a new name to the adventure field, but the company's first game, Operation Stallion, will look familiar enough to the seasoned adventurer. Why might that be, I hear massed SU readers cry? Simple - like so many adventures for the jolly old Spectrum these days, it was written using Gilsoft's indispensable trio of adventure generating utilities, The Quill, Patch and Illustrator.
Let's start with the plot. Britain is being flooded with heroin, origin unknown. A villainous Chinaman, Chow King Kwok, is suspected of having something to do with it. Unfortunately, his brother has diplomatic immunity, and CKK is operating from his house. Plus, there's a mole in the special investigation team who is tipping the baddie off to the police's every move. Someone has to get in to the house, find the evidence against CKK, identify the traitor, and terminate the drug-smuggling oriental, with extreme prejudice. Sounds like a job for (your name here), licensed to kill.
On to the game itself. The graphics facilities have been used well, especially with the first location, a very well detailed government type bureaucrat's office. Nice tough, putting OO-whatever-you-happen-to-be in a pinstriped suit - we tend to forget that dashing James Bond is just another civil servant too. There seems to be an awful lot of doors in the first part of the adventure, all done in different colours, but looking pretty similar none the less. Apart from that, there's not that much else that springs to mind, graphics-wise. They're good, but a bit repetitive. The character set is good, very pleasing to the eyes.
The parser is standard Quill and is actually very good. It understands 'get all', for example - a lot of games make you list every object you want to pick up separately.
As to the actual game. I can't tell you much more than that. I've finished the first part, but I can't get part two to load. It seems like part one is very short, with no real problems as such: the only thing that is likely to tax the brain is choosing what equipment to take with you. You get presented with an enormous catalogue with nearly 20 separate items. You only get to take a limited number. I'd guess that you aren't really going to know what to choose until you've played part two a few times.
There may be more to find in part one - there's a door you can open, but can't go through. Imagine how frustrating it's likely to be when you discover that you've missed something vital from the typing pool, and you have to go through the rigamarole of loading in part one again, playing through the whole thing a second time, saving your data, loading two, loading in your data from part one and so on and so on...
Not wonderful or absolutely dreadful though it seems a bit short on problems so far. Worth a look, but a bit pricey.