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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!

Time and Magik
1988 Level 9 Computing/Mandarin
By Pete Austin, Mike Austin, Nick Austin & John Jones-Steele

 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the thirty eighth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: May 12th, 1988).
 


Once again the adventure section has been chopped to near non-existence, and this month there's room for only one review: Time And Magik. However, we see the return of Examine All and the Vale Of Hope. The undead walk again in part two of the second serialised solution, Dracula.
.

 

 

TIME AND MAGIK
Level Nine, 14.95 cass, 19.95 disk

 

evel Nine have been one of the best British adventure software houses since the heady days of Colossal Cave and Adventure Quest. Their range of games has brought acclaim to the Austins and have set a standard for other adventure publishers to follow.


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.

LORDS OF TIME

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.

Lords 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 part, logical.

RED MOON

This 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.

Red 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.

THE PRICE OF MAGIK

The 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.

You 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.

This 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.

The 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.

Time 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.

 
Atmosphere 64%
Interaction 79%
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

The tape text-only version (above screenshot) contains a lot more text in descriptions etc, since there is no need to reserve memory for graphics.

Time and Magik Complete Artwork Gallery!

Total Pictures Count: [25]

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (19 Aug 2006)
There were no screenshots in the original review.

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