1983
Adventure: Text
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

44
Richard Price
Chris Bourne

ON COURSE FOR HELL

DEEP IN space, the giant colony ship Snowball hurtles towards its destination in the system of Eridani A. Formed of ten enormous passenger discs, within which sleep millions of pioneers, the ves*eI is powered by accelerator units fuelled with ammonia ice. The ice is wrapped in a mass around the discs and gives she ship its name.

Al) the ship's functions are carried Out by machines and the eerie passages of the yesa d are patrolled by Nightingales, dangerous robot guards. But . . . something has gone wrong aboard Snowball and you - Kim KimberIcy, the sbps security agent - are woken from hibernation. Snowball is heading straight into the nuclear hell of its target star.

Those are the bones of the plot of the Level 9 classic text-only adventure Snowball. As with all their adventures no space is wasted on graphics and the program is enormous, having 7,000 locations, hundreds of messages and tricky puzzles to solve. The number of locations is achieved by having each passenger disc designed exactly alike. Another innovation is a woman as the central character and the scenario itself is consistent and well-planned, depicting a believable science fiction world.

To score you must achieve significant steps in your attempt to reach the control unit and everything you find will have some sort of function. Working out those functions is a major aspect of the adventure. First you must escape from your freezer coffin and assemble a space suit. On your journey through the immense vessel you will be given lengthy location descriptions befitting the complexity of the Snowball and there is a wealth of detail to take in. The setting is highly atmospbc.ic and imaginative. The interpreter will accept relatively complex language and is versatile in its responses, a feature which enhances the overall effect.

The accompanying booklet gives the player a background summary of the political setup behind Snowball's mission. Level 9 will also provide cluesheets if required - and you will probably need one.

This is only brief outline of what is an outstanding adventure. Play it - . you've got a snowball's chance in hell but it's potsible you may succeed.

Richard Price

Memory: 48K
Price: £9.90

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