Electron User1st January 1989
Published in Electron User 6.04
Take a portion of Citadel and mix it with a touch of Jet Set Willy and you end up with the latest, budget priced arcade adventure from Atlantis Software. The rules are simple. Your aim if to recover the golden figurine, a family heirloom which has been stolen by the evil wizard Morthond. The game controls are left, right and jump, and these suffice to get you around the 57 rooms of the wizard's castle, picking up and using objects as you go.
The castle is populated by Morthond's mutant servants. Bumping into them will reduce your strength, as will collisions with spikes or water. Your strength can be replenished by eating the food scattered around. Nice for mice.
If you can keep up your strength you will have to cope with the problem-solving parts of the game. Without giving too much away, you will need to find something hot to melt the snowman that blocks your path, and don't try to use a boat while it has a leaky hull - mend it first. The trampoline will have a number of uses, but great care will be needed to do things in the correct order.
Experienced arcade adventurers will not find these puzzles too much to cope with - in fact they could be an ideal introduction for the novice. The skilful timing needed to prevent loss of strength presents much more of a problem, because your character has incredibly fast movement. This leads to the one major difficulty.
There are many places where one false move topples you into a pit from which there is no escape. Death comes quickly in these cases, and I would have liked a Citadel-like routine which moves you to comparative safety. To get the "You have failed in your quest" message after a long session of adventuring is a bit too frustrating.
Despite that criticism, The Golden Figurine is addictive and fun to play. It is well worth getting for your Christmas stocking.* * * Second Opinion (By Janice Murray) * * *
Atlantis is well known for its budget titles, and among them are some real gems. This Citadel/Palace Of Magic clone could have been another, but just misses that accolade by being too difficult. The problem is that it's far too easy to get stuck in a deadly trap with no hope of getting out - just one slip and your goose is cooked. You then have to return to the beginning and start all over again.
If you like a challenge, have nerves of steel and lightning reactions then look out for this enjoyable, but frustrating, arcade adventure.