After a number of years when the family were happy to
publish games under their own label, the Austins decided
to team up with Rainbird, leaving the marketing and
promotions to a company better suited to deal with these
aspects of the business. Silicon Dreams and Knight
Orc were released as a result of the partnership
-- nothing inspiring there. Recently Level Nine have
moved on again and joined forces with a new company,
Mandarin. The first product of this new merger is --
in a similar vein to Silicon Dreams -- an updated
trilogy of Level Nine's past adventures. All their later
games, including Knight Orc, Gnome Ranger
and now Time and Magik, have been created using
the team's new state-of-the-art adventure system, KAOS.
This powerful utility features ramsave, undo, multi-tasking
and data compression.
Whilst innocently looking at a picture in your living
room, you find yourself thrown into a race against time.
The old man depicted within the frame comes to life
and explains that the Timelords are planning an evil
future for mankind. You're charged with the task of
travelling through nine time zones to seek out the ingredients
required to make the formula with which to thwart the
plot. All nine items have to be put in a cauldron which
unfortunately is guarded by the Timelords.
Of Time is an excellent adventure, consisting of
many fine elements which add up to make a near perfect
game. The ability to explore almost all the locations
is a great asset and the puzzles and characters incorporated
in the game are amusing, interesting, and for the most
is the first Level Nine adventure to incorporate magik
spells as a way of dealing with puzzles. The Red Moon
Crystal has been stolen from the Moon Tower on the island
of Baskalos -- you must retrieve it. On your travels
you find objects which act as amplifiers for magik --
a dagger with which to attack enemies, a mushroom which
decreases your size and so on.
Moon is too dedicated to the magik content of the
adventure and neglects the puzzle/problem elements.
This makes for a shallow, although atmospheric game
of simply moving through the locations, discovering
which spell best deals with particular obstacles.
PRICE OF MAGIK
dreaded magician Myglar has been driven mad by the magikal
radiance of the Red Moon Crystal. It's your task to
defeat him and take his place as the guardian of the
jewel before darkness enshrounds the Earth. You need
to learn eighteen magik spells before tackling Myglar,
and must do so without paying the price -- your sanity.
get involved in this battle to the death through the
simple act of blowing up a balloon -- you don't realise
it's inscribed with a spell. On inflating, the balloon
bursts and you eventually re-open your eyes to find
yourself in a bleak landscape, outside the house of
the Red Moon.
is the worst game of the three. Again the emphasis is
on spells and not game-depth. Wandering around bizarre
locations performing magik hither and thither holds
no attraction for me whatsoever. The game was abysmal
when it was first released and the enhancements don't
improve it much.
digitised graphics on the updated games are well done
and although adding little, they're enjoyable to look
at. The text enhancements stick out as mere add-ons
to the originals, but the many useful features such
as the RAM save/load option and the OOPS command are
a welcome development.
and Magik is good. Not all the components are particularly
impressive -- as usual the disk access time for graphics
is a little slow -- but the complete package should
make a worthy addition to your collection -- especially
if you haven't played the games before.