Using disks can greatly enhance the potential of a game - by loading in location descriptions when required, instead of having to keep them all stashed away in valuable memory, a far richer game can be presented.
In the next couple of issues we'll be taking a brief look at some disk-based games to see whether programmers do in fact make good use of the extra possibilities, and which programs you should add to your collection. Even if you don't have a drive, you'll find that some of the games we'll be looking at will really make your mouth water, and in the best cases can give you a good idea of what state-of-the-art adventure has to offer.
First, Melbourne House's new version of The Hobbit, with added locations and improved graphics. The game comes on a double-sided disk - you load the program side first and then turn over the disk to get the graphics during play. The first thing you'll notice is the music, some of which is really great and adds a good deal of atmosphere to the game. The music changes as you move from location to location and boy!, does it get spooky in the Goblin's Dungeon!
The game features thirty extra locations and many of the descriptions have been greatly enhanced. Add to that the fact that Melbourne House have given the other characters, Thorin in particular, a lot more to say and you have a considerably improved game.
Some of the new additions really do affect the way you have to play, and although the White Wizard has spent a good few hours "Hobbiting" in the past, he has to admit that this new version has a lot to offer. My own feeling is that £17.95 is a bit too much to pay for the privilege, but if you haven't already got the tape version you might be tempted to fork out your pennies for the satisfaction of owning a truly classic game.