Sinclair User20th July 1985
Published in Sinclair User #42
DON'T DRINK THE WATER
Richard Price dons knotted hanky and samples the low-life of a kwikhol.
NOW YOUR SUNBURN has begun to fade you've probably started to get your holiday snaps back through the post. The nostalgia wells up as you share the happy memories with immensely bored relatives and friends.
There it all is - the glorious sunsets over the towering concrete hotels, the trendy beaches packed with tassled beach umbrellas, topless bathing belles and stout gentlemen in vests and knotted hankies.
By now you've begun to forget the blistered back and nose, the hours of agony pulling out sea-urchin spines or the two days you spent locked in the loo after indulging yourself in those tempting-looking prawns and several gallons of cheap hooch ("OK! I know it's a bit like turpentine but it's only three pesetas a litre and anyway you don't notice the taste after a bit.")
Never fear, folks - all those memories can now be relived, recalled and resuffered solely with the aid of your trusty micro in Terrormolinos, a fearsome and harrowing saga of the average family on the average package tour. Many of those experiences can be photographed and reviewed during the game, courtesy of the miracle of glorious living Saucivision.
Terrormolinos is the creation of Peter Jones and Trevor Levor, co-authors of Hampstead. Published by Melbourne House, the game is a Quilled text adventure, but this time features the addition of a graphics system.
Like all good holidays your trip begins with the panic-stricken rush to pack and be ready in time for the taxi to the airport. There you are in your semi with Beryl upstairs getting ready, little Ken trailing around after you with his thumb in his mouth and Doreen the daughter immured in the bathroom, as permanent a feature as the avocado toilet suite.
The most essential item to remember is the camera, as winning the game is achieved by taking the correct 10 snaps of the trip. You have only one film and every picture will count.
The taxi hoots outside. Ready or not you had better hurry or the driver will get fed up and leave you stranded. Where are the tickets? Have you got the red hanky? Can you remember the name of your hotel? Those and other things are essential for the journey.
Once you are past the initial time-limited section you can settle down in the plane, ignore little Ken who is using the sick bag as a hat and look forward to Terrormolinos, basking in the lethal Mediterranean sun like some ancient reptile ready to devour unwary innocents.
The Hotel Excrucio is a cool haven from the heat but the excitements of foreign climes beckon seductively. There are the gift shops, the beach with its picturesque little island - what are those black triangles nipping through the waves?
Perhaps, you'd like to take an excursion - very cheap - to the bullfight or the wine-tasting. Do your best to avoid Mr Snargsby, the life and soul of the tour group, and mind Beryl doesn't catch you staring at the wonderful Miss Peach... quick where's the camera?
Of course, there are hazards. Don't let the kids bury you in hot sand. Be careful of what you eat and of what may eat you. Avoid being gored by irate fighting bulls and take care an the sun - heatstroke could ruin your holiday.
Every holiday disaster you can imagine will come true in Terrormolinos and when the worst happens your embarrassment and suffering will be shown on screen in Saucivision. Each 'correct' snap or fatal error has been drawn in the form of a seaside postcard - you know, the sort with large ladies and double entendres galore. During the game you can review them at any time and also check how many exposures you have left. The screens illustrated here are taken from the Commodore versions, but give you an idea of what to expect!
If you enjoyed Hampstead I have no doubt at all that Terrormolinos will be equally if not more appealing. It is not numbingly difficult but its endless sick humour will draw you from disaster to disaster. Even people who hate the usual type of computer adventure will want to join in - it will make a welcome change from Dallas and Coronation Street. Immensely silly, immense fun!