Troll Bound (Questline) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


Troll Bound
By Questline
Commodore 64

Published in Zzap #12

Troll Bound

Semi-Wizard Tony Treadwell is known to many readers of this column, as he runs a popular adventure club and is always ready to give help and assistance to other followers of the Wand-ering Path. Now Tony has taken his life in his hands and written a game himself. How has he done and what lessons can you learn from his attempt, should you ever decide to try and release a game yourself?

The first thing he's done is turn the usual state of adventuring on its head. Instead of doing battle with Trolls and Goblins, you are one - in this case you are Gonj, one of the 'Green People' who were, long ago, friends of the human race, but must now hide away for fear of discovery and destruction.

Tony's blurb claims about 90 locations for his game, which loads in two parts. On the first side of the cassette there's an introduction, together with some music and a picture of Gonj's dwelling place. My immediate impression was mainly shaped by the number of spelling mistakes - I hope this wasn't a production copy, Tony, because you will have to fix them before it goes on sale! Spelling is one of those little things that one often overlooks in a game, but any commercial software house will tell you how important it is.

In fact, spelling is just one facet of that 'inner logic' that any good adventure must have. Despite the interest of the story, this inner logic must be present for a game to be really enjoyable. Unfortunately, in the version of Tony's game that I saw, it was often absent. For example, once you've boned up on the history of the 'Green People', you find yourself sitting in your hole, where you can see a 'large wooden chest'. If you try to open it, you find it's 'rusty'. Hmmm - wooden chests don't rust (though their hinges might, I suppose). Little niggles like this, coupled with the frequent spelling mistakes tend to weaken the atmosphere of even the best-planned game.

At times, Troll Bound falls over slightly. The text-formatting is sometimes slightly askew and there was even one rather major bug - a torch that I needed couldn't be 'got', thereby causing much annoyance and frustration since it was clearly there for the taking. My only other major gripe is that the vocabulary doesn't appear to include either EXAMINE or LOOK.

Like a number of games, Tony's doesn't tell you which word it's having difficulty with and simply replies: 'You try, but cannot do that', or words to that effect. This is a pity, because (as I've often said) it's a great help to know exactly which words you're misusing. Troll Bound does, however, adopt the enjoyable practice of varying its responses, so we get 'I await you. Oh great green one' and 'What next, oh smelly one?' as prompts for input.

Troll Bound has some very original locations and the game is reasonably priced at £2.99. However, before you order a copy, I suggest you ask Tony whether or not he's corrected all the spelling mistakes! If those (and the torch bug I mentioned) are fixed, then this looks like another of those 'amateur' games that, if not up to the standard of some of today's commercial releases, can at least offer some enjoyment to the dedicated adventurer.

The White Wizard

Other Commodore 64 Game Reviews By The White Wizard

  • Castle Dracula Front Cover
    Castle Dracula
  • Super Gran Front Cover
    Super Gran
  • The Snow Queen Front Cover
    The Snow Queen
  • Subsunk Front Cover
  • Moonmist Front Cover
  • Valkyrie 17 Front Cover
    Valkyrie 17
  • Rebel Planet Front Cover
    Rebel Planet
  • Mission Asteroid Front Cover
    Mission Asteroid
  • Castle Of Terror Front Cover
    Castle Of Terror
  • Herakles: The Early Trials Front Cover
    Herakles: The Early Trials