Electron User1st November 1987
Published in Electron User 5.02
Palace Of Magic is the latest in a long line of arcade adventures from Superior Software. It's similar in many respects to an earlier release - Citadel.
The scenario is quite simple: You have offended an evil wizard called Caldeti (an anagram of Citadel) and he has turned you into a dwarf and banished you to one of his old homes - The Palace Of Magic.
A transporter is your only means of escape. This is hidden somewhere in the palace and grounds which cover a total of 100 screens. You can move left and right and jump to twice your height to climb over obstacles. In addition, you can also shin up ropes and climb ladders to reach otherwise inaccessible levels.
Scattered about the palace are lots of coloured bases, some of which have keys, ropes, gold bars and other useful objects standing on them. You can pick up or drop objects while standing on one of these bases and you can carry two at a time.
The keys are letter coded and are used to open similarly coded gates which block your route through the palace. Your task is made a lot harder by the fact that you are not the only living creature - the palace is crammed full of all sorts of unusual and nasty monsters who are out to get you.
If you bump into any of these, you don't die immediately, but they drain your energy and when this reaches zero you perish and the game is over.
The maze is complicated and the puzzles are challenging, but not impossible. Some of the solutions are so obvious once you've discovered them you'll kick yourself for not working them out sooner.
The Mode 5 graphics are quite good and most of the objects look like what they are supposed to be, which is a big help when it comes to figuring out where they should be used.
One or two things are difficult to distinguish and I was stumped by a funny looking blob on the balcony outside the church - it turned out to be a Bishop.
There isn't a lot of sound in the game, but then it doesn't require much and I didn't miss it. The only real criticism I can make is that it doesn't have a save game facility.
I have to admit to being an avid arcade adventure fan. I haven't yet fathomed all the mysteries of Citadel and I know there are a lot of people in the same boat.
Now with Palace Of Magic to escape from as well, I foresee many more late nights of problem solving for a lot of adventurers.