Amiga Power


Author: Gary Penn
Publisher: Silmarils
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Amiga Power #15


Here we have a curious collection of wares from maison de software Silmarils. Fantasypak comprises the French publisher's three finest hours to date, namely Boston Bomb Club, Colorado and Crystals Of Arborea.

Boston Bomb Club

Boston Bomb Club's the best of the bunch. This one's a peculiar puzzler which reminds me of Rainbow Arts' Logical, only Boston Bomb Club has an olde-world flavour and scantily-clad, top-heavy dolly birds. And bombs, of course. The idea is to guide these explosive devices, deposited from a dispenser, around tables of grooved tiles to the target areas.

The tables are presented as oddly-titled levels ("Baby's War"?) and feature gates to open and close, rotating grooves, dissolving tiles, trampolines, and the occasional bonus point tile to collect. Each table is also home to some strange characters hanging around the edges. One old boy fiddles with the tiles, while another blocks your vision of the bombs' route with a newspaper. On a later level, a baby crawls across the table and causes havoc. It's all a little odd, but there are enough playable benefits on offer to make the Boston Bomb Club well worth joining.


The olde-world theme continues with Colorado, in which you play a strapping western trapper. I'm not going to bother relating Colorado's dreary storyline or even the tiresome task in hand, but suffice it to say, the arcade adventure action has a beat-'em-up bent and is slow-paced, vacuous and boring.

And stupid. Should you stray too far from the path and fall to the water blow, you die instantly. This is all very well in the Real World, but does little for playability. The best bits in Colorado are (a) the indians blowing up when you hit, stab, shoot or hack them to death (!), and (b) shooting the rapids and using your oar to bash other canoeists against the rocks (strangely, you can hit obstacles without fear of death). Other than that, though, the game's largely fun-free. Colorado? Col-BORE-ado more like.

Crystals Of Arborea

The third and final part of the pack is a Role-Playing Adventure of sorts called Crystals Of Arborea. In it you play Jarel, last prince of blah blah etcetera and so on, and your quest is to find the four crystals of Arborea and put them back from where they came. Or something.

With a team of six characterless chaps by your side (you get a choice of Magician, Ranger and Warrior) you explore an island by means of two displays: a bland map and a (much more impressive) Jarel's-eye-view. There's no smooth or fluid movement (a la, say, a driving simulation) here - just a step-by-step update which is actually quite believable.

During your travels you meet character to fight and can sometimes acquire items of interest by correctly answering trivia questions. Sadly, there's little sonic support (a few bird noises at best) and interesting events are few and far between (the fighting takes place on a silly little grid-work screen). Crystals Of Arborea? Crystals Of Ar-BORE-a more like.

And that's yer lot. Not a great collection.

The Bottom Line

Well, it's not my idea of a 'fantasy pack', that's for sure, but having said that, 20 quid doesn't seem too extortionate a price to play for a little cracker and two pieces of pap.

Gary Penn

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