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"Games of the Week!"


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The Americana range seems to consist of nothing but old American software -- some of it good, some of it average, and a lot of it poor.
Necromancer isn't too bad, I suppose, but even so it isn't worth the budget price tag. It may well have been considered as something special when first released -- but now ... well, I'm not impressed.

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This is years old -- and it shows. The Americana label is a nice idea, but do they have to release the really old and crusty American games? The graphics are awful, the sound is pretty bad, and the game itself is dull. Take a look at some of the other releases in the Americana series, most of them are miles better.

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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!
Necromancer
1983 Synapse Software
Programmed by Scott Coleman & Steve Coleman
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the seventeenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 21st, 1986).
 

NECROMANCER
Americana, 2.99 cass, joystick only


As Chief Druid your life is not an easy one. Not only have you been assigned to defeat the evil Necromancer, but your powers have to overcome his marauding hoards of meanies. This, being such a hard task, cannot be completed in one fair swoop -- no, the eventual destruction of Necromancer is achieved in three stages.

ACT ONE
The Druid stands in the middle of an open plain from where he launches his Wisp, a cheerful little creature who flits about the playing area under his control. With the Wisp our dear Druid can plant seeds which grow into fine glittering trees. But the evil Necromancer hates to see all this peace, love and happiness, so he sends out his army of Neanderthal men, all with the sole intention of bashing your trees back from whence they came. The Druid decides that this really isn't very nice behaviour, and so wreaks his revenge by way of the Wisp, who can now fly about the forest, knocking the army into the middle of next week.

ACT TWO
This section of the game is set in the vaults, where the trees are called to do some work. They can be sprung into life by directing the Wisp to their roots, and from there on it's a case of 'pick up your roots and walk'. From here the Druid has to crush eight spider larvae by planting a tree in one of the vaults. The tree's roots break through the bricks and crash down onto the larvae, thus killing them. To make life difficult there are The Hands Of Fate who dip themselves into the vaults, pulling up a tree in the process. Completion of Act Two is achieved by smashing as many larvae as possible, and then leaving via the fifth vault. Now you can encounter the Necromancer . . .

ACT THREE
In this episode the object is to defeat the Necromancer and rid the world of all his nastiness. The scene shows a graveyard and is, predictably, full of graves. It is from those with headstones that the Necromancer emerges. To defeat the evil one, the Druid has to drive him out of his grave by attacking him with the Wisp. However, this is not as simple as it sounds -- as soon as the Wisp drives the Necromancer out of one grave, he infests another. So, what our overworked little Wisp has to do is evict and exterminate the Necromancer from all the graves. Doing this completes the game and the forest explodes in a rainbow of colours, restoring peace and happiness to the world.

     

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This game is quite fun to begin with, especially thwacking the cavemen who are delightful little creatures rampaging around on the screen. However, I didn't find it very addictive and after playing it for an hour or so it became boring. One thing that struck me as odd was the fact that in Act One the spider attacks only diminish your strength, but in Act Two they kill you outright. Maybe a game more suited to the tree planters at the Forestry Commission.
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Presentation 63%

A couple of options but little else worthy of mention.

Graphics 50%
Reasonable definition and animation all round.

Sound 31%
Nothing of any merit
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Hookability 61%
Initially pleasant . . .

Lastability 38%
. . . but interest soon wanes.

Value For Money 44%
Not a great deal of long term fun to be had here.

Overall 40%
If planting your seed is your 'thing' then you might enjoy this aged American 'classic'.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (15 Oct 2007)
Only the second of the above screenshots existed in the original review.

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