Magic (Macmillan) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Macmillan
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #27


If I was a magician I would make this piece of software disappear. Why? Because it's a rip-off. It's got nothing to do with magic, bar the title. The respected magicians' group - the Magic Circle - ought to be ashamed to be associated with it.

The box blurb claims you can: "Use your computer to rehearse a range of great tricks". In actual fact, all the software does is turn your C64 into a glorified calculator. Not a very good one at that, as you have to do most of the sums for the 'puzzles' on a separate piece of paper.

What have these puzzles got to do with magic? Well, you might ask, for only three of the eight 'tricks' can really be called magic at all. One of these, a choose-a-card type trick, is reasonably good, but you really don't need a computer and piece of software to of it. A pack of cards and a book from the Public Library is just as effective - more so, in fact, as you probably won't have your C64 with you the next time you go on holiday, or a long train journey.

One of the challenges on the tape is a logic puzzle in which you have to get a farmer, his chicken, bag of corn, and his fox safely to the other side of the river on one raft without the chicken eating the corn, or fox eating the chicken. No - I don't know what a farmer wants with a fox either.

Each trick has a menu for you to choose: Rehearse, Magic or Magicians' Tips. Magic explains how the trick works, Tips tells you how to present it, and Rehearse is (surprise, surprise) a rehearsal of all the stages.

The problem with each trick is that when you have chosen one, you are stuck with it. To get another, you have to reload the tape.

A 36-page booklet is also in the box. This teaches you another eighteen tricks with words and pictures. The trouble with this is that it does not interact with the software in any way - as you might expect. You will be able to learn a few tricks from it, but as a book on magic it must be considered a bit thin to say the least.

Overall, I was disappointed with Magic. The price, packaging and Magic Circle endorsement led me to expect a lot more.

Eugene Lacey