Electron User1st February 1987
Published in Electron User 4.05
Macsen is a past master at converting successful TV programs for computers and in this case the target is the popular Channel 4 game show Treasure Hunt. The game comes with four sets of data covering South Devon, London, Anglesey and East Scotland.
The basic idea is simple. You are given a cryptic clue of the sort you might find in a crossword. This gives you the name of your next location and you must fly your helicopter there and collect another clue. This continues until you have solved all the problems.
For example, your first clue might be "Fly to an occidental bad actor or pig meat", which means a location in East London renowned for its bubbly football team. When you arrive there you have to walk to 'The beheaded Queen's field where Alf Garnet likes to go". Some of the clues have a third section to make them even harder.
You are not on your own in this treasure hunt. Macsen has supplied you with a guide book for the three areas away from London and a map of the metropolis. You'll need the guide book because a detailed knowledge of the local geography is required. The London map is nearly useless and I used one with a larger scale and much more information.
The only section I have completed is the one covering the London area and this required a quick peek into the computer memory to solve one clue which had me beaten.
In all there are ten clues to find and to win you must find them in 30 minutes. Most of the time you will spend flying the helicopter, which takes an age to fly from place to place. You will need to be pretty slick with your typing to complete the task in the set time.If you can't solve a clue, you've had it. There is no help so all you can do is fly aimlessly around until your time is up. If you can solve all ten clues you get a final screen which is hardly worth looking at.
You can choose to have a tune playing during the game but I would hardly describe the collection of discordant squeaks as musical.
I actually quite enjoyed the game. The map of the area you are working on is neatly drawn, and the puzzles were difficult to solve but not impossible. The program is crammed with geographical data and you can end up with a crowded map, full of places which you don't need to complete the task but which do add interest.
Without this extra geography, the clues could be written on a small piece of paper and I feel this is one of those occasions where the computer adds little to the idea.
However, if you get hooked, Macsen offers extra data tapes, with new treasures to hunt, for £5.95.