The Wizard And The Princess (Sierra On-line) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


The Wizard And The Princess
By Sierra
Commodore 64

Published in Zzap #7

The Wizard And The Princess

Sierra have brought some of the most interesting and entertaining graphic adventures to our shores in the past, but sadly this one is not in that category, and required a deal of the Pipistrel 56 in order to get through it. Although written a couple of years ago, All American Adventures (a sub-division of US Gold) from Birmingham, have now produced the game under licence over here. We shouldn't be too grateful. This game was not very good at its time - and time is one thing that hasn't treated it any too kindly.

Anyway, on to the plot, for want of better terminology. A long time ago (though obviously not long enough), an evil wizard (no cousin of mine, I assure you), stole from you your true love, a beautiful princess. I hear you evince surprise, and I agree - why is it that evil beings are always stealing beautiful female royalty in adventures as opposed to some other goal worthy of your troubles, such as sheep? However, back to the plot; off you went, being rather upset about the theft, and fought the wizard to win back the poor little rich damsel - and you succeeded. Not unnaturally, the defeated wizard was a bit upset as well and decided to reverse time (good thing he was a wizard and not a chartered accountant), so now you have to go through the whole rigmarole again. Of course, this time the evil old fellow reckons he can beat you.

There are various problems to be overcome and unfortunately none of them are particularly original. There's a maze (in the guise of a desert); the loss of all your hero's equipment for no apparent reason, and you have to spend half the game just looking for that... The list goes on. Not one of the problems with which you are faced is blessed with the faintest hint of ingenuity. For the uninitiated in adventuring, they may hold some interest, but with the plot being as painfully dull as it is, Wizard and the Princess's future, even as a beginner's game, looks far from rosy.

One redeeming feature for many games of this type lies in their graphics. It has been known for bored adventurers to complete the game just because they wanted to see what the next screen looked like, having been so impressed with the last. Wizard and the Princess has graphic qualities which are amazing only in that they have no quality at all. Their embarrassing incongruity does actually help retain interest in the game for a while, but only for the laughter value.

When a game as bad as this one has errors in it as well, you can almost weep in sympathy for the people responsible. Stifling the tears, I did find at least one occasion where the computer confused east with west, which didn't help create any credibility. The game's vocabulary is small and input is only verb/noun - Sierra obviously thought the adventure offered enough without adding any technical sophistication. To add insult to injury, the graphics-text border has a bad screen glitch which to me implies either programming incompetence or rushed release. Neither is sufficient excuse. Finally, the author couldn't even put in an interesting loading screen.

The Wizard And The Princess provides an interesting way to mindlessly throw fifteen pounds right down the drain. I should think you would be better off sending the money to a charity such as the Caveless Trogs Society instead. The author need not feel guilty about the time spent on the game that way.

The White Wizard

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