Wizadore (Imagine/Ocean) Review | Acorn User - Everygamegoing

Acorn User

By Imagine
BBC Model B

Published in Acorn User #037

Grandpa's dragon

This is an arcade adventure rather on the lines of Castle Quest, although there are no logic puzzles to solve in this one.

The story is that your Grandad was something of a wheel in the land of Wizadore - the Arch Mage in fact. Along came the great red dragon, Smaun (sounds Irish that, Smaun O' Flaherty the fire eater, flushed with the Guinness), and caused great havoc with his halitosis.

Passing the Clean Air Act did little to relieve the situation, so Gramps decided to get tough and created a golden sword with which to smite the fiery, great beast. Unfortunately, the champion who was to deal the deadly blow had started to believe his own publicity - you know, number one boy with the blade, take him in the third, that sort of stuff - and finished up with a severe case of heat stroke. The sword was broken into three pieces and strewn, as they say, to the winds.


Feeling a trifle world-weary, Grandpa went in for a bit of self-immolation, shuffling off the old mortal coil in the process. His magical castle took the hump and withdrew its drawbridge, vowing to return it only when rosy Smaun was dead. Guess what? This is where you come in.

You have to find the three spells of destruction so that you can blat the various types of bewitched mortals who are trying to do you in. I presume that you have to reconstruct the sword, hold your nose, and let Smaun have it between the shoulder-blades. I say presume because I don't know. I keep pointing my toes skywards after about 90 seconds and even Rasputin, a changeling posing as one of my children, has been having a tough time. Prizes of £100 are being offered each month for those who can crack it, so it isn't easy.

The graphics are a mixture of excellent and pretty good. The characters and backgrounds are very good indeed - beautifully drawn and detailed, the best I've seen.

The characters in motion tend to be a wee bit flickery and the scrolling is not as good as Castle Quest, but then what is? On second thoughts, I'm being picky. A year ago, I would have been doing backward somersaults on seeing graphics as good as this - it's just that the advances made in the use of the hardware since then do increase expectations.

An excellent game which I would unreservedly recommend, and don't forget, I've only seen a tenth of it. Don't expect to be collecting £100 though. Oh, it's hard.

Harry Sinclair

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