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Review by
Steve Cooke
(The White Wizard)

 

 
Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Trollbound
1986 Questline
By Tony Treadwell
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the twelfth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: March 13th, 1986) and the follow-up to that review in the thirteenth issue.
 
We miss the first part (the introduction) of this game.
If you have it please let us know!
TROLLBOUND
Questline, 2.99 cass
 

emi-Wizard Tony Treadwell is known to many readers of this column, as he runs a popular adventure club and is always ready to give help and assistance to other followers of the Wand-ering Path. Now Tony has taken his life in his hands and written a game himself. How has he done and what lessons can you learn from his attempt, should you ever decide to try and release a game yourself?


The first thing he's done is turn the usual state of adventuring on its head. Instead of doing battle with Trolls and Goblins, you ARE one -- in this case you are Gonj, one of the 'Green People' who were, long ago, friends of the human race, but must now hide away for fear of discovery and destruction.

Tony's blurb claims about 90 locations for his game, which loads in two parts. On the first side of the cassette there's an introduction, together with some music and a picture of Gonj's dwelling place. My immediate impression was mainly shaped by the number of spelling mistakes -- I hope this wasn't a production copy, Tony, because you will have to fix them before it goes on sale! Spelling is one of those little things that one often overlooks in a game, but any commercial software house will tell you how important it is.

In fact, spelling is just one facet of that 'inner logic' that any good adventure must have. Despite the interest of the story, this inner logic must be present for a game to be really enjoyable. Unfortunately, in the version of Tony's game that I saw, it was often absent. For example, once you've boned up on the history of the 'Green People', you find yourself sitting in your hole, where you can see a 'large wooden chest'. If you try to open it, you find it's 'rusty'. Hmmm -- wooden chests don't rust (though their hinges might, I suppose). Little niggles like this, coupled with the frequent spelling mistakes tend to weaken the atmosphere of even the best-planned game.

At times, Troll Bound falls over slightly. The text-formatting is sometimes slightly askew and there was even one rather major bug -- a torch that I needed couldn't be 'got', thereby causing much annoyance and frustration since it was clearly there for the taking. My only other major gripe is that the vocabulary doesn't appear to include either EXAMINE or LOOK.

Like a number of games, Tony's doesn't tell you which word it's having difficulty with and simply replies: 'You try, but cannot do that', or words to that effect. This is a pity, because (as I've often said) it's a great help to know exactly which words you're misusing. Troll Bound does, however, adopt the enjoyable practice of varying its responses, so we get 'I await you. Oh great green one' and 'What next, oh smelly one?' as prompts for input.

Troll Bound has some very original locations and the game is reasonably priced at 2.99. However, before you order a copy, I suggest you ask Tony whether or not he's corrected all the spelling mistakes! If those (and the torch bug I mentioned) are fixed, then this looks like another of those 'amateur' games that, if not up to the standard of some of today's commercial releases, can at least offer some enjoyment to the dedicated adventurer.

 
Atmosphere 70%
Interaction 50%
Lasting Interest 58%

Value for Money

55%

Overall

59%
 
TROLLBOUND
Questline, 2.99 cass, 5.95 disk
 

rollbound?? I hear you mutter -- surely we saw this one last month. Well, we did and we didn't. After reading Ol' Whitey 's review, Tony Treadwell threw himself into the Goblin's Dungeon in despair, but then made good use of the time to upgrade the game and send me a copy. And I'm delighted to wave my wand in his direction and say that this new version of the game is a vast improvement.


It's not that the structure of the game has been much changed, but the presentation and the pictures. And it's on disk as well now for the extremely reasonable price of 5.95. This must make it the cheapest disk offering around, and I reckon it's now even better value than previously. What's more, the disk version has some nice added features, including an optional fast loader and the ability to load the title screen and music separately, or not at all if you want to get down to the game quicker.

I shan't repeat the Troglodytic details of the plot, but Tony has added several new graphics that really are attractive ... AND he's tidied up his spellynge. Look, I know the Wiz appears to have a bit of a bee in his bonnet about spelling and presentation in games, but really it is important. If I opened an Agatha Christie book and read 'The boddy laie on the sowfa beside the tayble', I would simply put it back on the shelf. The same goes for adventures, which after all have an abundance of text as their only distinguishing mark . . . So it's nice to see it properly presented.

Thanks for the new version Tony, and I hope that others get the same enjoyment out of it as I did. Order your copy from Mr Treadwell at the address in the Helpline column.

 


If you want a walkthrough, visit
Jacob Gunness
' Classic Adventures Solution Archive or
Martin Brunner's C64 Adventure Game Solutions Site

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (26 Apr 2004)
There were no screenshots in the original review.

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