The tutorial is a lengthy introduction to playing adventures
complete with a sample puzzle, all of which could be
of great use to novice adventurers. The games accept
complex inputs, such as 'Give the money to the bartender',
and have the useful facility of allowing you to issue
multiple direction commands. Entering N.N.N.E., for
example, would move you instantly North, North, North,
and East to a new location, thereby saving you a lot
of time if you know where you're going.
'sneak preview' is simply an advertisement for the other
game in the series, designed to wet your appetite with
juicy graphics and a description of the plot.
game format is striking and colourful -- a large illustration
for each location and a small window for text underneath.
You can get rid of the graphics instantly at any time
simply by pressing the RETURN key twice. The pictures
draw quickly and look very professional, though I felt
somehow that they didn't have a lot of character. Others
time for a nap in Mindshadow.
is a very logical game in which you start off on a desert
island and must travel the world in search of your own
identity, your mission, and in fact the very purpose
of the game.
are approximately 80 locations to be visited, and most
of these present a puzzle of some kind or another. The
game has obviously been well designed, and there are
no stupid 'Suddenly a rock falls from nowhere and kills
you. Play again?' routines. If you die in this game,
you usually deserve to.
interesting feature of Mindshadow is the ability
to 'Think about ...', and sometimes you'll get an insight
into a certain problem, though it doesn't often work.
You can also ask for help, which is delivered (don't
ask me why) by a large bird, and is usually of little
use. You can think as often as you like, but the bird
will only make three visits.
is your boss in the Tracer Sanction. If I were
you, I'd resign.
is very similar is design to Mindshadow, though
with a very different plot. As an interplanetary secret
agent, you must roam the galaxy in your extremely fuel-conscious
space ship (only 500 gallons to the nearest planet).
Heaven knows what sort of engine your ship possesses,
but as stars scroll past your cockpit you can hear what
sounds like a very unhealthy motor-scooter in the background.
are some touches of dry humour, including an interminable
queue of people that you can stand in for ever, never
quite reaching the end. You'll also have some trouble
with a certain crazed dwarf and some unstable stalactites
-- at least if you go the way I did. I found this game
rather easier than Mindshadow, though, and the
atmosphere is rather less enthralling in outer space
than it was on board ship. Both games however, are extremely
attractive to look at and might be particularly suitable
for first time adventurers who will no doubt appreciate
the 'living tutorial'. What's encouraging about these
games (and the disk Hobbit, of course) is that here
we have adventures with really excellent graphics that
make good use of text and can handle some quite complex
inputs. Again, however, you pay a price for all this.