The Crystal Frog
By Kerian UK Ltd
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Computer & Video Games #39

The Crystal Frog

It's lucky that good titles don't necessarily mean good games, and bad titles, bad games. If they did, then this game would have rated as terrible!

The Crystal Frog is a Quilled game, in which the object is to find "the fabulously valuable crystal frog and return it intact".

The text locations in The Crystal Frog are so long and verbose that it had me imagining I was playing an Infocom game! Most descriptions take about three-quarters of the screen and the prose is so utterly believable that once or twice I thought that I could actually smell an apple in the orchard - an excellent example of what is actually possible using The Quill.

The Crystal Frog

Some of the objects are rather strange. A spade, fur coat and apple seem to be in the right period of time, but what is a gas mask doing here? As I have so far only completed 25% of the game, you will have to bear with me, but I hope to find out soon!

Of all the locations I visited, the three most infuriating are a hut with salt in which, for the life of me, I can't take; a cave with a bear which is driving me insane; and, to top it all, there is a nutcase in the local castle who keeps killing me! The only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that there is another 75% to play and judging by the first 25% this should be good! I can't wait to delve into the rest of it!

The game has a very large vocabulary and contains most of the words that I wanted to use. The response speed is very good, but that, of course, is the main advantage of using The Quill. As is usual with Adventure games these days, the HELP command is most unhelpful and I would like to see the publishers offer hint sheets. If they decide to do so, perhaps they could send me one?

Simon Marsh

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