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  Review by
Nik Wild
(The Harlequin)

 

 
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!

Witch Hunt
1986 Supersoft
By Brian Cotton

 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the thirty first issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: October 8th, 1987).
 
 

Stepping into the moccasins of the unworldly White Wizard may seem a daunting task. He has set a standard by which all adventure reviewers and their reviews should be judged . . .

ENTER THE HARLEQUIN

Devotees of the ZZAP! adventure section will be pleased to note that although some changes are to be made, the basic ingredients should remain the same. In-depth reviews of the latest available games are to be the backbone of the column and the ever-growing Clever Contacts will stay. We're also introducing, a new hints and tips section, THE VALE OF HOPE, which will include more help for more games, detailed maps and a serialised solution of a particular epic each month. We begin with the US Gold / Adventuresoft science fiction quest -- Kayleth.

Any gossip I can glean from the world of adventure will be passed on to you as soon as possible in a section entitled HARLEQUIN HEARSAY; this will hopefully keep you up to date with the latest releases and information. The EXAMINE ALL section will be an opportunity for you to air your views and debate points of interest with fellow adventurers.

 
 

WITCH HUNT
Classic Quests, 12.95 cassette, 14.95 disk

 

lassic Quests are a company I am unfamiliar with, mainly because most of their adventures have not yet been released in the UK (although I'm told this situation is soon to change). However, one of their games -- Witch Hunt -- is now available here from all good (enough of the advertising rubbish - Ed).


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.

It 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.

The 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.

A 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.

The 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.

Saving 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.

Classic 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.

 
Atmosphere 62%
Interaction 61%
Challenge 64%

Overall

68%
 


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 (11 Oct 2005)
There were no screenshots in the original review.

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