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Games Workshop
Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Grim Reaper
Chris Bourne

Runestone's a Lords Of Midnight clone - it's got sleepless nights and aching fingers written all over it. In some respects it's better than its predecessor in others it's not.

What about the story? Yes, you guessed it - nasty orcs are marching down from the north (they always come down from the north) and knocking the stuffing out of the friendly, heroic folk they come across. As usual, there's a mega-nasty looming in the background called Kodimir and you've got to get out there and give him what for!

You control three heroes, an elf called Eliador, Rorthron - oops! sorry, I mean Greymarel the wizard and a warrior called Morval. These three must sally forth and discover the Runestone, a mystical gem that'll help you to destroy the evil Kodimir.

Know what I mean when I say it's a Lords Of Midnight clone? But although Runestone only allows you to control three characters it does offer you all the usual text input facilities you'd expect from a rip-roaring adventure.

While you're busy typing in commands like 'Tell Skrimnal to get lost', something you'll want to do pretty often, 'cos he's a right pain in the hauberk, the graphics will depict the landscape in the direction you're facing. You can only move in four directions, though, but at least the movements are smooth.

The piccies aren't as pretty as Mike Singleton's ones but they do the trick, and, if you want to treasure them forever you can always use the COPY command to dump them to your ZX printer. That's if you haven't already donated it to the local museum.

You can even have a quick natter with the characters and better than that you can give 'em a poke in the eye. There are some great combat sequences and you'll have even more fun if you rush on in there without a weapon. I had a great round of fisticuffs with Skrimnal the Sly, who deserved everything he got! All this and you can cast spells! Or rather Greymarel can. One slight problem - he forgets the spells at the start of the game. Maybe a quick box round the lughole will jog his memory!

There ain't no doubt about it, Runestone's a smasher - you'll get to plaster a load of nasties and see the countryside. That can't be bad for only £7.50.

Not Rated