Silicon Dreams (Rainbird) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing

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Silicon Dreams
By Firebird
Commodore 64

 
Published in Zzap #22

Zzap Sizzler

Silicon Dreams

It was pretty obvious to everyone that Jewels Of Darkness, the Rainbird compilation of Level 9's Middle Earth trilogy, was going to sell like hot-cakes. After all, it was a bargain, with updated versions of three fantastic games from the UK's leading software house, plus graphics, and so on and so on...

No-one really mentioned the fact that, despite the trimmings, all three games were ages old and out of date - and for a very good reason. Half the appeal was precisely because the games were ages old - they were each classics of their own kind, from a time when adventuring and Middle Earth/Underground Empire were almost synonymous. And there's no better excuse to stock up on some classic and enjoyable titles than to pop out and get a compilation.

Unfortunately, I don't believe these facts apply to Silicon Dreams. Of the three games here only one can pretend to be a classic of any kind and that's Snowball. The other two are more recent releases which therefore not only fail to show any real benefit from the 'revamping' process but also lack the charisma of the older titles.

However, if you haven't got these games, this compilation is of course good value for money. And I don't want to give the impression that I think the games are poor. They're not, and Snowball in particular is an excellent adventure.

For the ignorant amongst you, the games form a trilogy concerning Earth's colonisation of the planet Eden. In Snowball, Kim Kimberley awakes from suspended animation to find something wrong with the vast spaceship on which she is travelling along wth thousands of others to the new planet. Return To Eden starts off with Kim escaping from a sentence of death and locating the city of Enoch, prepared in advance for the colonists by robots but now running amok and attempting to wipe out the very humans for which it was built.

Finally, Worm In Paradise jumps ahead by a hundred years or so and shows us a totalitarian society in decay. The player awakes in a "dream parlour" after an excellently coloured dream sequence and must then navigate the highways and byways of an advanced technological society to take over the government and (perhaps) put things to rights.

All three games now feature 'multi-tasking' graphics (though only Snowball was originally text-only) and improved parsers. And with the exception of Snowball they've all been reviewed in previous issues. All three can be recommended, but don't expect either the atmosphere or the 'classic' quality of Jewels Of Darkness.

The White Wizard

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