The Time And Magik Trilogy (Mandarin) Review | Acorn User - Everygamegoing

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The Time And Magik Trilogy
By Mandarin
BBC B/B+/Master 128

Published in Acorn User #075

Picture Perfect Pastimes

Time And Magik

True graphic adventures for the BBC micro are with us at last. Mandarin's Time And Magik is a compilation of three old Level 9 adventures; Lords Of Time, Red Moon and The Price Of Magik, all revised, improved and with added pictures.

In Lords Of Time, you must collect nine objects from different time zones. Red Moon sets you the task of finding the legendary Red Moon crystal. Price Of Magik is the final instalment, in which you must save the kingdom of Baskalos.

The 80-track-only 'flippy' disc divides the screen into two: a Mode 2, half-screen picture and Mode 3 or 6 text below. This allows for full-colour pictures and very readable text. Switching between 40 and 80-column text is simple, just a single key stroke. Although not as detailed as their 16-bit equivalents, the pictures are excellent given the limitations of the BBC. Dithering allows for a whole range of colour and shading effects. Among the 31 different scenes look out for the spooky manor house and the fetid swamp!

Good graphics do not make a good adventure - you need evocative descriptions and a good parser to interpret your commands. Although not the best I've come across, the descriptions help to set the scene admirably. The text is concise and informative.

The rest of the frills include a RAM save and restore facility, and an UNDO command to allow you to take a step back - useful for those awkward meetings with werewolves. Finally, it's possible to recall any command that you have typed in during the course of the game, using left or right cursor keys.

Unless you have a Master or BBC 128, the price to be paid for all this is the ost of shadow and sideways RAM. The game will not work on a standard, unexpanded Model B. With either Shadow RAM or 16K of Sideways RAM, you'll get text only. Text and graphics need both Shadow and 16K of Sideways RAM, and for UNDO and recalling all your previous commands, more Sideways RAM is needed.

The final conclusion? This game is about the best graphic adventure available for the BBC series.

Robert Miller

Other BBC B/B+/Master 128 Game Reviews By Robert Miller

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