Adventures In The Arcades
Ravenskull is Superior's latest offering and on the BBC Micro features all the hallmarks of an excellent Superior game.
Ravenskull Castle is a mysterious place that contains hoards of unclaimed treasure and four sections of a mystical silver crucifix, one of which can be found on each of the four levels of the game. The first, called 'Ravenskull Castle', is comparatively easy. The second is 'The Catacombs', followed by 'The Bee's Hive' and finally 'The Time Shaft'. Each of these levels is 64 times bigger than the displayed screen and is similar to Repton. The scrolling is excellent, and flicker-free.
You explore the castle in one of four guises, and the character you choose determines the treasure you have to collect. Adventurers collect chests, Wizards hunt for crystal balls, Warriors amass shields and Elves bags of gold. All the treasure on each level must be rounded up before you can get the piece of crucifix.
Various useful items such as spades, axes, dynamite and keys have been thoughtfully left around the castle. You must work out how and where to use these to their maximum advantage. A careless wizard has also left a number of potions to be drunk and scrolls to be read. These cause weird effects such as speeding the game up, slowing it down, teleporting or even killing you, and one of them reverses the control keys! (This also happens if you drink the wine.)
You must also avoid acid pools, man-eating plants and the deadly guardians of the castle, the Ravenbees! Other ansties include moving walls, slamming doors and spike traps.
A status screen is included which enables you to examine objects, see what you are carrying, and check your score.
Ravenskull is a very good game and is destined to be another Superior classic, especially with the £100 prize.
Bernard Emblem Adds...
Ravenskull is another distinctly superior offering for the Electron which is not unlike the Reptons at first glance. However, it is significantly different to play, as I realised when my wife, our Repton fanatic, described Ravenskull as "the worst game I've ever played".
Why? Well, she hates adventures, and Ravenskull is really a classic adventure with arcade graphics, but involving lots and lots of trial and error, and endless journeys back and forth as you try for the hundredth time to work out why the pickaxe will bash a hole in some walls, but not others. It's a game I love, but it will appeal mainly to adventure fans.