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Derek Brewster
Arcade: Adventure
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Phil South
Chris Bourne

Magic Knight fans had better be pretty good with a joystick before they plough into this little beggar. It's easy to make comparisons between this and David Jones' Finders Keepers/Spellbound/Knight Tyme trilogy, but although it's from the same stable (whinny) and takes place in a spooky castle, it's a different Morphy Richards of sardines altogether.

Fast is not the word for it. You don't so much control your character as allow yourself to be dragged around by him. He can traverse three rooms in about two and a half seconds, so there's no room for pootling.

I particularly liked the magic axe - you flying it at all the slimy miscreants you meet and it bounces off the wall and comes back to your hand. (Cor! Jus' like Thor's hammer in ver comix!) There's also the Sphere of Invulnerability - a little jet-powered bubble car you can nip around in to save your strength and pack full with all your objects.

The sprites are a bit iffy but pleasant enough, as long as they keep away from each other to avoid the dreaded attribute probs. The rest of the graphics and sound are reet gradely, giving the game real atmosphere. Addictive? Yup, it's one of those games that really gets under your skin, the kind that beckon you over when you really ought to be doing something else.

My only negative criticisms of this quest are the slightly poor quality of the sprites, and the slightly mindless scenario. One of the main reasons you can't compare this to the Magic Knight trio is that under closer scrutiny it turns out not to be an arcade adventure at all, but a straight shoot'em up. Okay, so if you like shoot'em ups all well and good. But if you're a strategy/adventure fan leave your brain in the drawer and get blasting.