is never simple. The production of the substance is
known only to a few monks (wot, no wizards?) in the
monastery known as Lapis Philosophorum. The monks have
no intention of letting their secret become known to
outsiders. Apart from overcoming this obstacle, the
king's son is aware of your quest and the reason for
it. He has therefore made your task more difficult by
making sure the guards do not let you out of the city.
Too many obvious attempts at leaving and you die.
surprisingly then, the first part of the game is spent
trying to escape from the city. Wandering around is
fairly easy. The city is laid out in blocks and isn't
large enough to lose yourself it. There are places to
visit, including a pub, a market and some workhouses.
There are also the cryptic mumblings of non-player characters
to be overheard, but this is definitely an adventure
rather than a Role Playing Game. Also, the tavern has
a rather unusual use which, while not being astounding,
is at least different from the cliched 'Buy drink, give
tip, get hint' routine.
graphics are reasonably well drawn and use plenty of
cross-hatching to give the effect of having more colours
whilst avoiding low-res. The character set too is typically
redefined. It is generally easy to read but 'N's and
'H's are easily confused and the 'X' was only discernible
The packaging promises a 'huge' vocabulary, though I
did not sense its presence. There was also only the
ability to express single commands in the simplest fashion.
Hardly magical stuff. Still, despite disk access for
every screen, there was at least a reasonable buffer
and play flowed quite rapidly. It needed to; I kept
dying. The only solution to being spotted by guards
whenever I tried to leave was to wait until nightfall.
However, there was no 'wait' command. Nor did the day
seem to progress in any way, as if time was frozen until
blurb on the packaging refers to 83 illustrations. Not
a bad number for games of this type. It also mentions
several 'routes' to win -- not ways. The various methods
may therefore follow very narrow and inflexible courses
of actions. This adventure really isn't worth the asking
price, though it's not a total flop. The presentation
is good (complete with competent loading music and title
screen), but ultimately I found it monotonous and shallow.
There is nothing in this game that I haven't seen better
elsewhere and you would be far better off buying a similarly
priced Infocom game if you really had to get rid of