Atari User

By Infocom
Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL/130XE

Published in Atari User #22


Woe is me! Dress me in mourning! Something has happened that I would not have dreamed possible. I have discovered an Infocom adventure that fails to satisfy.

The cause of my despondency is the ease with which I completed Moonmist. I started the adventure one afternoon and - shock, horror - completed it by teatime.

The plot is very English and concerns funny goings-on at Tresyllian castle.


Apparently a ghost, the White Lady, has started some nightly perambulations and worse, someone has attempted to kill one of the guests.

You play a detective invited there by your female friend, Tamara Lynd. The game commences as you pull up outside the castle gates in your sports car.

Once inside and having met all the guests, you can explore the castle or change for dinner.

The program has a number of nice touches. For example, it lets you choose your own name, including a title. I couldn't resist a unique opportunity to solve the case as Lord Dimwit Flathead.

If you try to arrest somebody too early in the game, you'll be told "Bad form. Wait until after dinner".

Moonmist is quite enjoyable judged on its own merits, but suffers when compared to practically every other Infocom adventure.

Because of their depth and originality, these normally take most players weeks, sometimes months, to unravel and complete. Moonmist, I'm sorry to say, is the glaring exception.

To be scrupulously fair, Moonmist is specifically aimed at adult gamers new to adventures and has deliberately been made simpler than the usual run of Infocom products. As an Infocom veteran it was only natural that I should find Moonmist easy meat.

Then again, Wishbringer (an earlier release) was also a beginner's adventure but for my money offered yards more variety, entertainment, humour and challenge. It also had very little padding, symptoms of which are sadly evident in Moonmist.

Having said that, Moonmist is still a better adventure than many from other companies. It is also as handsomely packaged, playable and as bug-free as all Infocom adventures.

If you're new to adventures then by all means give it a try. If you're an old hand, then don't get your expectations too high. Perhaps I did.


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