Atari User


Jinxter

Author: Bob Chappell
Publisher: Rainbird
Machine: Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL/130XE

 
Published in Atari User #39

Jinxter

This is your lucky day. Just when you might have begun to think the supply of good Atari adventures had all but dried up, along comes Rainbird with a magnificent offering.

Jinxter sets you loose in a puzzle-filled universe where your luck is all that stands between your success and failure.

The nasty green magicians have snaffled a magical charm bracelet, dismantled it and scattered the lucky pieces around the country. Your job is to recover them and save civilisation.

Jinxter

You'll have some help if you get into any fixes. A Guardian From Beyond The Realms Of Time is never far away but he's not at all what you might think.

Imagine a morose Arthur Daley who has little else but cheese sandwiches on his mind, wears a herringbone overcoat, and uses such literary expressions as "wossname", "narmean" and "doodah" and you'll have some idea of this sullen but very funny character.

As Jinxter has been written by Michael Bywater of Punch and the Magnetic Scrolls' team - the latter responsible for the award-winning Guild of Thieves and The Pawn - you might expect it to be imaginative and funny. And it is - very.

The adventure comes on two discs and features full-screen size, attractive black and white graphics of several of the locations. These pictures can be scrolled up and down at will - they simply overlay the text - by use of the Start and Select keys.

The game is expansive - far too big to be crammed into the Atari's memory all at once - and so makes frequent accesses to the disc. This naturally retards progress somewhat, but you can speed things up considerably by switching off the graphics.

You begin on a bus and, depending on how you handle the ticket inspector and where you decide to get off, you should soon find yourself at Never Ending Lane.

At this point the Guardian should put in his first appearance. He will pop up from time to time, particularly when you are in difficulity.

In fact, an unusual feature of this adventure is that you can't get killed. Well, there is just a teeny exception to that rule but I'll let you discover it for yourself.

Whenever you're in danger of shuffling off this mortal coil, up pops the Guardian either with some timely advice or to haul you out of your tribulation.

But beware, every time he assists in this way or you put a foot wrong, you'll use up a bit of your luck - and you'll need it all for the denouement.

Magic features prominently in Jinxter. Every charm you find has its own magical ability, and the spell/charm names are like nothing you've seen before in an adventure.

Watchercallit, Doofer, Oojimy, Thingy and Doodah are the names of the charms, and those are the words that you'll have to use to work your magic.

There are lots of imaginative puzzles and stimulating sequences in Jinxter. In particular, you'll enjoy solving the riddle of the bakery where you won't be allowed to leave until you've baked a decent loaf of bread.

The game is packed with wit and humour and has the most richly detailed and fulsome prose seen on your Atari. The command parser is a delight to use and the vocabuary seems huge - having a response for almost everything in the game.

The usual ability to save and load a game state are included - and you're certainly going to need them to complete the epic with full marks.

The program is handsomely boxed and comes with an adventure reference card, a copy of the Independent Guardian - which contains, among other things, a host of coded clues, a staff memo and a beer mat advertising Old Moose Bolter ale.

Jinxter is a hoot from beginning to end and is the best adventure for the Atari since Guild Of Thieves.

Rainbird and Magnetic Scrolls are clearly the tops when it comes to adventures for your 8-bit Atari, and Jinxter confirms their deservedly high reputation.

This one has hit written all over it. Buy it without a moment's delay - this really is your lucky day!

Bob Chappell

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