ADVENTURE and arcade games are becoming more complex and of a better standard all the time, so it is no surprise that a company like Imagine Software has created a mixture of the two genres with The Alchemist for the 48K Spectrum.
You take the part of the alchemist who is searching for the parts of an ancient spell scroll which, when put together, will destroy an evil wizard. Your character can move around on the ground in human form or can transform into the guise of a giant bird and take to the air. All that can be performed with the keyboard or with many types of joystick.
To reach the parts of the scroll you must move past various evil monsters, including a colourful butterfly and a sheet-like ghost, which are all animated cleverly.
At first sight the game, with its cartoon maze and wizard as the central character, may remind you of the Ultimate Atic Atac. The extra features of the game, however, compensate for the similarity and there is much more variation in the maze construction and the creatures which will be seeking your blood.
If the attraction of the game is not sufficient and you still want something different you will be startled to learn that imagine has the dubious honour of being the first software house to produce a gold-coloured cassette and cassette box. That adds interest to the game and gives a hint of what it contains when you learn that alchemists seek to turn lead into gold.
The combination of excellent cartoon animation and depth of plot should make The Alchemist a winner. It can be obtained from Imagine Software.
Price: £5.50 Joystick: Kempston, AGF, Sinclair, Protek, Fuller, 12L