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Zenobi Software
Laurence Creighton
1992
Adventure: Text
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

37
Tim Kemp
Chris Bourne

The idea of a ten-mile-wide meteor smashing into the Earth is nothing new. There's actually one heading for Earth now (seriously!) which will be with us in about 135 years. There's a good chance that most of us won't be around to discover how close it comes to hitting Earth but, hey, why not while away a few hours pretending danger's at your doorstep by playing Impact? This meteor (the one in the game, that is) must be deflected from the Earth's path, and all other attempts having failed, the only way to do that is for you to find out where a now-dead scientist hid his Repelling Beam Machine, or RBM. Find it and the Earth is saved, don't and it isn't.

As with all Laurence Creighton Quilled text-only games you'll find that there are more objects per square inch than in just about any other adventure around. There's action a-plenty too, and right from the start you'll find yourself in the thick of things. As your quest involves the search for the RBM you'll be surprised to see that a lot of the game takes place in a rural setting. There's a river to be crossed, ordinary roads to travel along and a pretty normal farmhouse to explore. The objects you unearth are all rather ordinary too. That's one problem with Laurence's games - you tend to find yourself in a setting that doesn't fit into the main theme of the game, with objects that also seem to have little use other than that for which they were designed. I mean, a meteorite is going to obliterate the Earth and all you seem to see are ordinary locations, objects and people. Of what possible use is a farmer's wife? How can a needle and a piece of cotton wool help save the planet? On the other hand, the beauty of Laurence's games lies in the fact that, once you work out what they do, all those ordinary things have extraordinary uses.

You'll experience the full gamut of adventure styles within this game. There's character interaction (TALK TO... works best) all manner of object manipulation and combinations (using the good old VERB/NOUN convention) and some straightforward examining and searching to boot. A well-paced game, with several twists in the tale before you reach the end (that's either the end of the Earth or the end of the game). I have only two criticisms - you can't carry much around with you, and there are a few sudden death-type stoppages caused mainly by the character interaction, and that's a bit annoying to say the least.

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