C&VG


Planetfall

Author: Paul Coppins
Publisher: Infocom
Machine: Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Computer & Video Games #35

Planetfall

My, what a large brightly coloured folder. Quite an adventure in itself opening it and sifting through the contents. First there is a plastic ID card labelled "Stellar Patrol" and bearing a picture of a bucket and scrubbing brush.

Odd that — still, we also have postcards with pictures of strange planets and even stranger people on them, and envelope-type things containing instructions and pages from a diary (they make very interesting reading!) and so eventually we get a large pile of paper sitting on the table.

Something seems to be missing. I try sifting through the pile and then giving the folder a shake. HELP! Where can it be? What I needed to do was EXAMINE FOLDER, for there, tucked carefully away in the back, was the most important part of the package – the Planetfall disc!

Planetfall

Having loaded the disc, the purpose of the scrubbing brush became clear, what with ambassadors from strange planets leaving green slime all over the decks. It turns out I am a junior rating on board a star ship whose superior officer does a very good impression of a beetroot every time I try to leave my post.

What have I done to deserve it? Star Trek was never like this! Things soon take a turn for the better (or worse, depending upon how you look at it) for I have to make a death-defying escape from the stellar patrol ship, Feinstein, using one of its many escape pads.

I then found myself on a totally alien world, my only belongings being what I was wearing at the time Feinstein met its untimely end, plus a scrubbing brush, a survival kit and a towel with the words DON'T PANIC on it. As if I would!

Planetfall

As luck, or Infocom would have it, I had come down right next to a large alien complex. After exploring and enjoying the local scenery, it soon became clear that this planet was in a good deal of trouble and it was down to me to put it right. As it was an alien planet, all the signs and other reading matter were in an alien language. This proved a real torment to translate.

You are not quite alone, for help is at hand in the shape of B-19-7, known to his friends as Floyd. Floyd is a robot and, as robots go, he is a little strange. Floyd refuses to grow up and act like an adult robot – he prefers playing hide and seek and writing on walls to doing any actual work. Mind you, he has a vital part to play, for you will not complete this Adventure without him. In fact, I dare say you would end up stone dead.

I found Planetfall to be a very humorous science fiction Adventure and a refreshing change from the usual. To play it, you'll need a good sense of humour and not a little patience, to put up with Floyd's mischievous behaviour - he can be a real pest at times. If you have these qualities, then you and Planetfall should get along just fine.

Planetfall is from Infocom for Atari 32k, Apple II 32k, IBM PC 48k, Commodore 64, TRS-80 Models I and III 32k, TI professional and PDP-11. Price is dependent upon version.

Paul Coppins

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