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"Games of the Week!"

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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!

Kobayashi Naru
1987 Mastertronic
By Les Hogarth & Clive Wilson

Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the twenty fifth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: April 9th, 1987).


Mastertronic, 1.99 cassette

nce upon a time there were lots of little people in attics writing adventure software for the Spectrum computer. These games had tiny vocabularies, no pictures, and the puzzles were often very difficult. Ask anyone who triumphed over the early Artic games what it means to be really stuck in an adventure!

Nowadays we still get games with tiny vocabularies, but usually they are subtly disguised as something else. Kobayashi Naru is one of these, but don't let that put you off -- I reckon that for the throwaway price it's worth a fling, if only to get your penny's worth of frustration.

This adventure has a very original screen presentation -- lots of icons scattered around the top, which you select with keyboard or joystick. Suppose you select USE . . . The program then highlights one of the words in the location description, or an item from your inventory and you move this highlight until you settle upon the word depicting the item you wish to USE. Then you press FIRE (or the space bar) and the command is executed. My only grouse is that if you select QUIT by mistake you don't get asked for confirmation and find yourself right back at the beginning of the game before you can say Kobywhatsitsname.

That's quite a neat little system for 1.99. The game itself involves choosing one of three quests and returning from it with an object -- get the three correct objects and you join with the immortals, having completed the Naru and entered the Order.

Harmless claptrap; nice screen design; unusual gameplay system; infuriating puzzles; some nice small-scale graphics that show your current location, the objects you carry and occasional textual reports on your surroundings; and various little bits of scrolling window display and a nice redesigned character set . . . Well now, that's not a bad list for 1.99, is it? If you've got money to waste, why not waste it? And if you haven't, don't fret, because you're not missing anything earth-shaking.

Atmosphere 55%
Interaction 58%
Lasting Interest 57%

Value for Money




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 (20 Jun 2005)
There were no screenshots in the original review.

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