adventurer Derek Brewster (a mere mortal who undertakes
to instruct Spectrum owners in the joys of adventuring
in CRASH magazine). By all accounts, it should have
seen the light of the 64 some time ago, but some problems
in releasing it seem to have occurred along the line.
As a result, the programming techniques of this text-only
game are slightly dated.
my old and trusty C2N whirred on into the night (it
takes an age in an age to load), I browsed through the
instructions. Hmmm, sounds like my evil doppleganger,
the Black Wizard, is afoot and certainly about to cause
slimy creature's gone into hiding in the Goblin Labyrinth
of Mount Elk and has stumbled upon the Tomb of Grako.
This is written in many of my ancient books as letting
its discoverer become a true demon upon earth, wielding
this problem afoot, there's not any time even to raise
an army to reach him before he realises the powers under
his foul nose, so it's up to a single, brave adventurer
to penetrate his domain and destroy him.
seeing this challenge, how could I refuse? Even the
prospect of encountering the evil creatures in his employment
and the traps I know he can conjure, my heart was strong
as I entered what seemed to be a promising adventure.
starting you are asked whether you would like to take
the role of a Wizard, Warrior or Priest. Each character
has different powers allowing him a greater advantage
in certain situations than the others. The Warrior can
take a lot more punishment and fight with much more
success (hrmmmph!), the Priest has three sorts of special
divine powers (bah!) and the Wizard, by far the best,
has three sorts of powerful spells under his control
(aha)! The Wizard's and Priest's powers can only be
used sparingly, every time a power is used a certain
amount is knocked off a spell powers total and when
this reaches zero, you're in trouble.
adventure itself is of a typical classic Labyrinth/Dungeons
and Dragons style, all the action taking place within
caves and caverns. Most of the locations are east/west
or north/south passages with caverns coming off each
one in the form of antechambers or cross passages, thus
making cartography that much more simple.
Black Wizard is renowned for his devious underhandedness
but I'd never thought he'd sink so low as to use limited
vocabulary to try to thwart my attempts. The actual
words that the adventure uses are mostly standard, and
this one understands all the basic commands -- it just
takes a little time to find the words it actually uses.
For example, it doesn't understand LOOK but it
does EXAMINE. MOVE and LIFT don't
seem to exist but some more obscure ones do, like BURN
for example. The one thing that did get right up
my cloak was the fact that I picked up a tinderbox at
the very beginning of the adventure. Any references
to it from thereon were given the reply PARDON? This
does tend to annoy slightly, but these language quibbles
aside the vocabulary isn't too bad once you can think
at its level.
problems involved in the game itself are quite old,
familiar and don't require too much thought, being rather
obvious once you've seen the problem and its answer,
although perhaps an Elf or Hobbit might find much satisfaction
and enjoyment in solving them.
the small price I suppose it could be called reasonable
value for money, although the set of Quilled offerings
at the same price make this doubtful. One that I could
recommend for the budding Wizard, rather than a seasoned
and very wise one such as myself.