Sphinx Adventure
By Acornsoft
Acorn Electron

Published in Computer & Video Games #39

Sphinx Adventure

Nowadays, there are many versions of the original Colossal Caves adventure and Sphinx Adventure is Acornsoft's contribution to the collection.

Your goal is to find and collect all the treasure and take it to the Sphinx. On your way, you will encounter a bearded pirate, axe-wielding dwarfs and a rather annoying little rabbit intent on following you everywhere. The way to the Sphinx is full of problems, but all of these can be solved with a bit of logical thinking.

The first thing to strike me, when I started playing, was the time the game takes to reply. Even though faster than most Acornsoft adventures, it still has a way to go before it can compete with the Level 9 standard. The main reason, of course, is that Sphinx Adventure is written mostly in Basic.

Sphinx Adventure

One major grumble I had was that there is no save-game routine. This means that you have to play the game in one go, which could run into hours - a large proportion of this being taken up with the response delay. I dread to think what it would be like on the Electron, which is a much slower animal than the BBC!

The game starts off at the top of a mountain, with a road leading north to a building housing the traditional lamp and keys. Surrounding the road is the dreaded forest with unclimbable trees. Gone are the days of black metal rods - in this adventure, the Sorceror's wand makes a comeback! As well as bridging the gaps, the wand has other purposes and so does the food. The bear (which is sometimes too friendly) will refuse the food, but a certain reptile is quite willing to sample it! Needless to say, it doesn't get it, but it wouldn't say no to a bit of human flesh!

Next, we venture into the land of Oz and the fairy grotto. A gift from the Fairy King will take us back to the Sorceror's lair. Deposit the treasure in the safe *if* you know the magic word and then pay (hint) the troll a visit!

Sphinx Adventure

After crossing the bridge, prepare to encounter those ghastly mazes! Roam through the colour maze and iron passages, or cross the glacier and get lost in the labyrinth. To get past the elephant, you need the mouse. To get the mouse, you need the cheese. And so on...

Altogether, Sphinx Adventure is not a bad adventure. But let's hope Acornsoft think to bring out a machine code version, with a save game option.

Sphinx Adventure is from Acornsoft for the BBC B and costs £9.95 for tape and £11.50 for disk.