Amstrad Computer User1st December 1986
Published in Amstrad Computer User #25
Cascade is perhaps most famous for its 50 Games cassette, which has been around now since ZX81 days. Now seems a funny time to branch out, but here's the first game I know of from the company that's destined to stand or fall on its own two feet. Or shag pile, as the hero of the piece rides about on an airborne Axminster.
The intrepid turk is on a mission of mercy to rescue the daughter of the Nawab from deep within the Catacombs of Garr wherein she lies imprisoned. And guess what he needs to effect the escape. My goodness, how did you get it? A key. And not just any key (because they are multitudinous) but the Giant Key. Freud, eat your super-id out.
These keys, it is almost redundant to say, lie hidden within the mazey Catacombs of Garr where lesser mortals have long feared to tread.
So what makes you so special? You alone, chuck, have The Power which enables entry, ensures expertise and generally helps you in the quest. It runs out though, especially if you come into contact with. You're ahead of me again. Yes, monsters, nasties, bats, ghouls, snakes, skeletons and Things That Defy Description. So there's no point in describing them.
But there are friendlier things distributed around the place with gay abandon to aid you. Lucky old you. The trick in is to transport the right tool to the right place to remove yet another barrier between you and the Nawab's daughter. There's also the occasional clue in case your Power doesn't crank your cranium into intellectual overdrive. Clues flash.
So if, for example, that evil, leering basilisk has a flashing goblet just the other side of him/her/it you might be able to tie in that rather natty golden grail you passed just a cavern or two back. That's it, the grail blasts the basilisk. Not going too fast for you, am I? Good.
Your threadbare transport can carry a mere three objects at a time so try to remember where this, that or indeed the other was. Always remember - you are all that stands between Garr and the total domination for which he craves. It's a good idea to start out with the Magic Pearls - they're especially good at removing those stubborn, ground-in evil minions.
And when you finally battle through the catacombs there's the Guard and Garr himself to ultimately (them again) dispose of. So be sure that your loins are girded for the battle. On screen you see the portion of the maze you're in at the moment (making a map might be a good idea), yourself, your carpet's contents and the bouncing bogies currently in your airspace. All in Mode 0 Gnomechrome.
The maze itself is satisfyingly sized. There's the chance to get a quick zap in now and again (with the magic dust). So for those without a maze game to their name, cast a carpet over Questor.
"Yawn bore, seen it before. Still I'd better play it for a bit. Now what happens if I get that cross over here? Ah and that opens this now if I can avoid that spidery thing. Ahh, it got me."
Questor is oddly addictive. It may be just another Sorcery clone but then look how good the original was. Besides there's nothing wrong with a good clone - ask Alan Sugar. Yup. a jolly prog worth a quick go.
Flying carpets, rescuing princesses - this is the stuff tales should be made of. Flicker-free sprites and lots of palette switching. Cascade may not be offering a free watch with this one (as it does with the 50 games compilation) but it still represents pretty decent value for money.
There comes a time in every reviewer's life when it all gets too much. I've got no doubt that this is a very competent explore-the-maze game, but I've seen an awful lot of competent maze games. There's been a lot of water under the bridge since Jet Set Willy, but to look at this you wouldn't know it.
Still, don't let me put you off. If this is your first maze game, you'll love it . If it's your second, it'll be OK. Otherwise, spend your shekels on a packet of Polos. They'll last longer.