Your Sinclair

Treasure Hunt

Author: Rick Robson
Publisher: Macsen
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Your Sinclair #7

Treasure Hunt

Credit where it's due, Macsen certainly have a go. Its adaptation of Countdown proves it can produce a great game from a TV show provided, of course, the original lends itself to conversion. But what happened to the glorious footage of Britain's heritage or Anneka Rice's 'Rear of the Year' in the conversion of Channel 4's Treasure Hunt?

In truth Treasure Hunt is nearer to The Round Britain Quiz in its form as a text centred graphic adventure - a sort of Hampstead without the jokes. There are two versions of the game - London and its environs and British wide. The London game is the easiest having two layers of riddle difficulty, the other has three. It's also based on general knowledge whereas the British wide game requires the accompanying, severely edited, Blue Guide for gameplay.

The main screen informs you of where you've been (in case you didn't already know), what your next destination is and how much time you have left. Riddles as to the location of your next clue take up a large chunk of the screen. You have to type in the general area you think you should be in and if it's correct the computer'll give you a pat on the back and zoom you off to a more specific place - if you're correct you'll be given a new clue to solve. When you get stuck for an answer fly your helicopter in various directions and seek more clues.

The second screen shows a simple map of the area you're in, your chopper and its bearing. In the TV Game it's all nail-biting tension but in the game it's boring. Equally frustrating, if you answer a clue immediately you still have to wait for the whirlybird to wheeze to its destination. Still ii gives you a chance to make a cuppa.

Macsen has avoided the games built-in obsolescence (what do you do when you've solved the hunt?) by including more than one game per tape. There's also three other game tapes that feature different areas of the Sceptred Isles - these can be ordered with the Blue Guide, which normally costs £8.95, so for £9.95 they're a snip. Provided, of course you're sold on the game originally. As it's worthy rather than wonderful, this may not be the case for the casual gamer with or without the Rice puds.

Rick Robson

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