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(c) 2000 James Burrows

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!
Subsunk Adventure
1985 Firebird
By Peter Torrance & Colin Liddle
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the third issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (July 1985).
Firebird, 2.50 cass

his is the companion adventure to the highly amusing Helm, but although it too is written using The Quill, and has the same low price, it isn't such good value. The game is set on a submarine and features graphics and sound, although both are on the poor side. It isn't

the sort of adventure that will appeal to those hardened and cynical adventurers who tackle such delights as the Infocom series. However, it might well suit the younger apprentice wizards, as limited interaction and locations make it quite a simple game.

You take the role of Ed Lines (you're a journalist if you couldn't guess), and you're writing about a life aboard a modern submarine. Suddenly (there's always a suddenly) you're attacked and, before you can submerge, the enemy takes the whole crew. Luckily, you've hidden and have remained undiscovered. Great, until you find that the sub has been sunk. Find the telex room to send a message and you'll be rescued . . . otherwise a watery grave awaits.

The game features graphics, if you can call them graphics. They're very poor indeed, created from the in-built Commodore graphics set. They don't add to the game whatsoever. What is more, there is no separate text window -- the graphics scroll upwards with the messages.

There are sounds too. These, like the graphics, are horrible. After the opening tune the sound reverts to horrendous pings, pongs and screeches. Worse still, the noises hold up play -- you have to wait for the game to go through the sound for a location every time you enter it.

The vocabulary is limited and the responses are very unhelpful -- 'I Can't' is the standard response for non-comprehension. For example, 'Examine manual' gives 'There's writing on it!'. Following that up with 'Read' or 'Examine writing' will give the stoical 'I can't'. Getting the manual, as with all objects, results in 'OK' . . . I do hate these Americanisms.

Those of you who rely heavily on the 'HELP' function will be annoyed with this adventure -- 'You're sunk unless you EXAMINE things!' is the reply to every inquiry.

Certainly one which is well fitted to the 2.50 range and overall not that bad an adventure, but one that the White Wizard would recommend only to the juniors.

Atmosphere 46%
Interaction 48%
Lasting Interest 37%

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 (9 December 2001)

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