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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!

Treasure Island
1987 Mastertronic
By ?

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

 


And behold . . . in the last minute of the last hour of the final print deadline, the White Wand Wielder struggled into ZZAP! Towers bearing tidings of wand-rous news. Thrill to the saga of Magnetic Scrolls and the Guild of Thieves, a true extravaganza of excellence. Scream with delight as your most sensitive pleasure zones are tickled pinker than a punk flamingo by Infocom's infuriating new release, Bureaucracy. Throw down your wands, pin up your beards, and get a load of the adventure column that refreshes the parts most wizard's don't even know exist . . .
.

 

TREASURE ISLAND
Mastertronic, 1.99 cass

 

his is certainly one of the most ambitious budget adventures I've ever come across. It's got some very clever features, excellent graphics (even if they are a bit slow to draw) and a landscaping system like that used in Lords of Midnight.


The game loads up with some pleasant music as the plot scrolls smoothly up the page. You then find yourself on the shore of Treasure Island, where you have arrived with Long John Silver to find a fortune before it's snaffled by rival pirate Tom Morgan.

The display consists of a large graphics window showing the landscape visible in the direction which you are facing. This direction is indicated by a compass icon situated at the bottom right, though you can only use this feature if you are carrying a compass in your inventory. As in Lords of Midnight, you can look in eight directions and the display updates accordingly.

Entering either WALK, RUN or SEARCH then moves you 88, 350 or 22 yards respectively in the direction you are facing. Trees and other landscape features change according to scale as you move towards them. The effect isn't nearly as polished as, say, the famous Lords of Midnight, but for 1.99 it's pretty impressive. My only other gripe is that it takes far too long to update the graphics.

There's a reasonable vocabulary -- not large, but sufficiently useful to make the game interesting. It includes some unusual commands; COOK, for example and SLEEP (which speeds up the clock display and hastens the arrival of night, when the display is dramatically darkened). There's also TELESCOPE. This is an excellent feature which gives you a cursor on the screen. Move it left or right and then press SPACE, and lo and behold you get a magnified display of the area under the cursor in a circular window. Neat. Also occasionally useful, because the display gets rather indistinct in the distance and you can lose your bearings.


[This screenshot was not in the original review]

Other novel ideas include the provision of flags, which you can drop as you move around the island and which then give you a landmark to navigate from. This is essential if you haven't got the compass for some reason.

For 1.99 this is ripe for the pickings, Wizardlings. Lots of exploring, and if there's a slight dearth of action it's only because the map is so great that you couldn't really have a circus in every spot. It's very heartening to see a budget game using an original programming idea for an adventure rather than another GAC or Quill release -- well done to the programmers Phase Two Software, whoever they may be.

 
Atmosphere 72%
Interaction 64%
Lasting Interest 75%

Overall

84%
 


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 (25 Jun 2005)

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