Amstrad Computer User

By Infocom
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #39


The year is 11349 and you have been assigned to collect 24 pallets of forms from an official printing press. The forms are in fact forms to request forms to request black binders for request forms a fairly normal situation for Stellar Control. This could well be one of your better days.

Filling out and filing forms is not the most exciting of jobs and the "printing press" referred to is on a space station some light years away. The trip should break the normal routine nicely. Little do you know how nicely normal routine is going to be broken.

Stationfall is Infocom's sequel to their successful space opera Planetfall. In that you rose from being an Ensign Seventh Class, relegated to sweeping and cleaning details, to Lieutenant First Class - pushing paper. Your meteoric rise, wholly due to your having saved the planet Reside from total destruction. Not a bad days work really...

Helping you with your problems on Resida was a cheerful little robot called Floyd. You are delighted to find that he is assigned to you for this trip to Gamma Delta Gamma 777 G 59/59. When you arrive, you find that all is not well. Some of the robots seem to have developed antihuman tendencies and there is an alien spaceship docked in one of the landing bays. The Commander's log refers to a strange metallic pyramid found aboard the alien ship and you get decidedly jittery when it appears that there is now no-one aboard the Space Station.

If you have a disc drive, like science fiction, programs with a heavy dose of humour and have a few days to spare, you will just have to save up for Stationfall. Like all Infocom games, it is logical, has plenty of locations to explore, has reams of good text and is not cheap.

Like other adventures from the same source, it also requires words to be entered in full (well, the first six letters anyway), continuously accesses the disc, thereby driving the more impatient among us round the bend, and needs the fairly obvious operations to be performed in painstaking detail.

However, much I deplore this slow and tortuous path I have to tread in order to play Infocom games, they are all worth it in the end. I just love the response to having entered SAVE: Floyd's eyes light up. "Oh boy! Are we gonna try something dangerous now?". This little robot really contributes to making Stationfall what it is, a classic Infocom adventure.

Packaged in the box are a full set of diagrams for the space station and just what you've always wanted, a cloth patch proclaiming your rank of Lieutenant First Class (boldly going where angels fear to tread!). At least the diagrams will help you with your mapping, perhaps even eliminate the need for maps at all. There are also some samples of the forms used by Stellar Control - read them carefully, not only are they amusing but will also help you on your travels.

Once you start touring the space station and its attendant "village" of old spaceships, you will begin to get an idea of what you have to do (read the Commander's log as soon as you can). The solution is straightforward in theory but as with most Infocom games, although perfectly logical, a little devious in practice!

Watch out for danger at almost every major step forwards and remember that you are the only one you can trust.

Bill Brock

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