The Spectrum Adventurer
By Duckworth
Spectrum 48K

Published in Computer & Video Games #52

The Spectrum Adventurer

I'm not quite sure whether or not I agree with the idea of publishing complete solutions to adventure games. It takes the essential element of mystery out of a game if you know you only have to toddle along to WHSmith to learn all that has been baffling you. Perhaps it also reduces the sense of achievement felt by a player who finally cracks a game himself, knowing that people who have finished it are two a penny, having bought the whole solution.

On the other hand, I suppose people who have been genuinely frustrated for many months, do have a right to know the answers to the mysteries for which they have paid, and so to be put out of their misery.

From the point of view of the author and publisher of a game, I suppose it is all right for their secrets to be revealed when the game has been around a long while.

In The Spectrum Adventurer, Mike Gerrard provides 100% solutions, including complete maps for four games: Valhalla, Snowball, Twin Kingdom Valley and Urban Upstart. For the latter three, the solutions are arranged as an index of problems, which are then looked up in the text that follows. Valhalla is presented in a slightly different format, with a fairly long introduction on the strategy to adopt, followed by a commented list of locations. All the maps appear as appendices at the back of the book.

As one would expect with Mike's name on the front cover, the book is impeccably written in an easy style, and represents good value to anyone who is irretrievably stuck in even one of the four games. If you are just mulling over a sticky problem though, my experience is that a full solution to hand is too much of a temptation, and even the most determined adventurer will make the feeblest excuses to himself to look up something that is temporarily stopping progress!

Still, I suppose it would make my life a bit easier...