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.
game belongs in the pre-Twin Kingdom Valley
fact, it's so off-beat and out of date that I found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.'
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?
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.
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'.
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 . . .
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.