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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!
Mystery Voyage
1986 Colleen Ltd.
By Kevin Bentley
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the sixteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 10th, 1986).
 
 

MYSTERY VOYAGE
Colleen, 8.95 on disk only
 

plutter! Gurgle! Gibber! Yessir, the Bearded One is completely lost for words on this one! For once, I seem to have met my match and can only scratch my balding pate in bewilderment. Is this a game or a joke? Or both . . . ?


Let me put you in the picture. Mystery Voyage is a text-only game (supplied to me on disk -- I wasn't able to check whether there was a tape version available, but I don't see why not) which has you paddling round the ocean following a shipwreck. There appear to be quite a few places to visit, but . . .

. . . well, look at it this way. The Wiz started his reviewing days back in 1983 en ye Olde Personal Computer Games. I well recall the adventures we used to get at that time -- text-only, limited vocabulary, and rather dull scenarios. Then things like Twin Kingdom Valley started appearing and the whole scenario changed vastly for the better.

This game belongs in the pre-Twin Kingdom Valley era.

In fact, it's so off-beat and out of date that I found myself laughing hysterically while I played it. For example, someone somewhere has obviously done a quick course in adventure writing and has got the idea that you must have 'vivid location descriptions', so in Mystery Voyage we get (and I kid you not): 'The waves rape the rocks like a horde of barbarians assaulting an unprotected village. The virgin rocks scream in anger at the constant assault of the pillaging sea.'

Phew! Now do you see what I mean? Is this for real, or is the programmer playing games with Ol' Whitey? Can I really be expected to take a game like this seriously?

Once you've got over the shock of seeing the rape of the virgin rocks, you can wander around doing such devastating things as 'GET BRANDY' and then 'DRINK BRANDY'. This stops you from getting thirsty. Or you can 'EAT APPLE' -- which results in your dying from the 'deadly poison'. Examining the apple before eating it, by the way, reveals 'nothing worth writing home about'. As does examining almost anything during the game.

The parser is pretty basic. Entering 'CLIMB INTO RAFT' sends you to the top of the nearby hill, while trying to 'QWERTY THE TREWQ' (a standard Wizard instruction), merely receives the old 'you can't do that'.

There are, however, one or two original touches. The opening title screen is great, with some very sassy music. There follows a short interlude that has the captain of your ship saying something like 'Abandon the Ship!' in digitised speech -- perfectly audible and quite impressive. And in other parts of the program there are some brave sound effects, mostly to do with waves breaking on the sea-shore. Unfortunately, they just sound like a lot of hissy white-noise. Not very impressive, but in a game like this one must be thankful for small mercies. Unfortunately the hissing also delays the action while you wait for it to stop. Ah well . . .

Mystery Voyage was a delightful exercise in nostalgia for an aged Wizard. It sent me right back to the good old, bad old days and as such it shall recline on my shelf in well-deserved glory. I'm not sure, however, that that is what the programmer intended. Nor do I think I shall ever play it again.

 
Atmosphere 28%
Interaction 30%
Lasting Interest 40%

Value for Money

35%

Overall

30%
 


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 (9 Sep 2004)
There were no screenshots in the original review.

Can anybody rip the SID tune out of this one?

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