A mixture of science fiction and pure fantasy sets the
scene for this latest game to emerge from the Mind Games
label. You are one of probably very few survivors of
the holocaust. Your cellar is still intact, though it
appears the rest of London has disappeared. And so has
your colleague, Dr Uriah Winterbottom. You thought the
old quack was somewhat unhinged, always warbling on
about now he could have avoided all of this mess if
only he had had a little more time. He's dead and gone
now. But his notes are not.
notes and charts refer to the Evil One -- Eight Minds,
Runes -- hmmm! With little else to occupy your time,
the notes provide an interesting diversion. They suggest
that some long forgotten battle took place in Earth's
past and that the forces of evil won. Ever since then,
when mankind has been on the verge of moving on to greater
things (well, that's what the manual says), it has been
thwarted by some great catastrophy created by the evil
ones. This is because the eight minds have had to open
time portals to search across the aeons for their treasured
possessions. By doing so, they leave entry points open
for the baddies. Your quest is to restore the imbalance
all this meddling has created and make sure that this
time mankind makes any necessary transition without
any undue interference from the nasties.
involves travelling through the different ages of man,
trying to appease the eight minds by returning to them
their now scattered possessions and finding a combination
of tiles that will allow casting of the correct spell
to close the time portals and seal out the evil ones
screen layout consists of two main components. The top
half is the action window where your character, controlled
by joystick, can be manipulated through rooms and portals
on his quest. The bottom half is basically an information
display. To the left of this section is the visual display
for objects discovered using the look option or, during
a meeting, one of the images of the Eight Minds. Below
this is a fat red heart. This is an energy display.
Blood drains from this heart as energy is used up during
the course of the game. When it is entirely black, you
using the joystick, options may be highlighted until
the desired one is selected. Below are four storage
boxes, each with its own status light. When an object
is being carried it appears in one of these.
these boxes are two windows. On the left is a real time
clock, which is used to determine when certain time
portals open. To the right is the tile storage box.
Up to ten tiles may be stored at once, although there
are fifteen in the game. Just to the right of the main
storage boxes are the function buttons. These include
a pause button to suspend game action, a resume button
to revert control from options to the character on screen
and a cancel button to prevent you from doing things
you might instantly regret.
on the right of the screen are the tile test and eye
display areas. When four tiles are in the tile storage
area, they may be moved to the test area. The eyes displayed
in the box then react to their presence in a kind of
mini Mastermind game. A closed eye means one of the
tiles does not belong in the group. Half open eyes indicate
the right tile in the wrong place and a fully open eye
indicates that the right tile is sitting in the correct
position. When a correct combination of four tiles is
achieved the game will end. However, the game cannot
be won unless all the Minds have had their personal
possessions returned to them.
can, incidentally, be used in pairs to create spells.
The player is really working in the dark unless he finds
a scroll. Reading a scroll will reveal which two tiles
can be combined to make a spell. However, it does not
reveal the effect of the spell and of course the necessary
tiles still need to be acquired.
problem lies in the use of weaponry. There are three
weapons, each needing different forms of ammunition.
The pistol needs bullets, the crossbow needs bolts and
the wand requires gems for its power. The complication
arises with the fact that different weapons only work
in certain times zones, yet without a weapon, staying
alive is impossible for any reasonable length of time.
Moving out of a screen and then going directly back
is one way of avoiding the nasties but this leaves little
time to search or trade with any of the Minds you may
screens themselves consist of four levels, each scattered
with interesting objects to investigate and obstacles
which may or may not be impassable. Chests, for instance,
require the correct key before they can be opened. After
a chest has been unlocked, it may contain useful items
or just provide a good place to leave objects for a
later stage. One of the objects that can be found in
chests is a bottle. There are actually several of these
and they contain potions which, when drunk, restore
up to half of the player's original strength.