Sorry, back to the game . . . You play the part of Filbur
Apse, a person who gets a kick out of upsetting his
fellow man. During one of your particularly obnoxious
attacks on an innocent passer-by, you discover -- to
your horror -- that the victim is in truth a wizard
in disguise. Now we all know wizards are not renowned
for their patience, and this one is more than a little
upset by your antics. He retaliates by casting a spell
on you which has the effect of making you appear to
be a nice guy on the outside, while underneath you remain
the same obnoxious little Filbur -- this may not appear
lo be a particularly nasty hex, but it does cause more
than its fair share of problems.
transpires that there is only one person who has the
power to return you to normal -- an old witch by the
name of Esmerelda Hawkins . . . unfortunately she appears
less than keen to help you out (typical of all the witches
I've ever met!). On your arrival at her domain, the
crone gloatingly informs you that she does not really
have time to deal with your trivial problems. However
should you be successful in finding all the necessary
ingredients, she just might agree to perform the spell
on her return. From here on your quest is clear.
game opens at the point where the witch departs, leaving
you outside the wooden door of her cottage. The problem
of entrance is none too difficult if you can pull a
few strings, and once inside many objects are yours
for the taking. The arcane law book is most important,
containing a list of the ingredients you require for
the spell. This is found quite easily, but the same
cannot be said of the constituents. The area surrounding
the cottage is mostly made up of woods containing differing
trees with the odd hilly bit and occasional cave. A
certain atmosphere is created by the lengthy location
descriptions, although the access points to and from
certain places are a little illogical. The adventurers'
favourite verb is well catered for here, with most objects
in the descriptive prose being EXAMINEable.
little more attention to detail would have been nice.
For example, trying to get the shopping trolley results
in a negative response with the message 'I'm not logging(?)
that about' and examining the oil produces the reply
'I see nothing special about a oil.' The lark seems
to have poltergeistic powers, as you can hear the thing
even when you have expired. Thankfully none of these
quirks deter too much from the enjoyment of the game.
parser is just about adequate -- understanding such
inputs as 'Put the apple in the bucket' and 'Throw the
newspaper at the toad.' Commands may be linked with
a comma, and phrases such as 'Get apple, toad, cap,
bottle' are handled easily. 'It' is also understood,
although confusion reigns occasionally when a previously
typed noun is used in place of the current one.
and restoration of games is carried out either to Cassette,
Disk or RAM, and macros may be created for those inputs
which you use most often throughout the game. Inventory
or Look, for example. Other useful commands include
Brief, Verbose, Quit (which unfortunately resets the
computer), Help and Again. There is also an assumed
verb function which repeats the previous verb if one
is omitted from the current input.
Quests claim that Witch Hunt is only the first
release of many, and if the standard is at least matched
in future games then the company shouldn't have too
many problems. The only major objection I have is the
price, £12.95 is very expensive for a single load cassette
adventure . . . perhaps too expensive.