The Black Cauldron (Sierra) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing


The Black Cauldron
By Sierra
Atari ST

Published in Computer & Video Games #58

The Black Cauldron

The Black Cauldron is based on the Walt Disney film of the same name. There are seventy screens in sixteen colours, with built-in arcade sequences and mazes. Music from the original score also crops up throughout the game, as well as many sound effects.

As Taran, an assistant pig keeper, you start off by your cottage. A goose honks about the yard, and a goat proves troublesome, approaching you and insisting on playing tag. Hen Wen, your favourite pig, is grubbing around in its sty. The yard is alive with animated creatures, running around and making noises.

Your first job is to feed Hen Wen, and to find the food some looking around inside the cottage is necessary. Once fed, make sure you follow the pig, and something magic will happen, setting you into the game proper.

Without this early action, further exploration will not lead to much.

Your journey takes you through forest and swamp to a castle wall, where the guards are throwing boulders down. Unless, of course, something nasty happens to you before you get there!

There is a text commentary, and although text input is supported, no words seem to be recognised. Instead, commands are limited to DO, LOOK and USE, selected from an icon menu.

As well as joystick or keyboard, the ST's mouse may be used to control the game. By dragging the cursor in the direction of movement required, and clicking the left button, Taran can be made to change direction.

Clicking the right button pauses the game, and displays the command-icon window. To USE an item, its icon must be selected from the "Status" screen, before issuing a "Use" command in the command window.

The puzzles are not quite adventure-type puzzles; nevertheless, quite a bit of thinking is needed to work out what to do. The package, illustrated with original Disney artwork, has an illustrated glossy handbook built-in, giving you the background story, and playing hints.

Altogether a very clever and varied game, with some outstanding Disney style graphics.