Laurence Creighton's latest offering, The Curse Of Calutha, is a spooky text-only adventure that revolves around your search for the fabled treasures of the old mystic, Calutha. The treasure was stashed in the Caves of Lights and their location is well known, but no one has yet managed to penetrate deeper than the golden antechamber. Will you be the first to gaze upon Calutha's treasures?
Once again we have a two-part game (seems to be the norm nowadays) which really is a challenge. Laurence uses Gilsoft's Quill to construct all his games which means they lack sophistication. Still, they're full of problems from start to finish and I found myself getting stuck within the first ten or so moves. As Quill-ed games are limited to verb/noun input it's only a matter of time before you hit upon the right words. When you get used to the way Laurence structures his problems, you'll be okay. Calutha is well programmed, crawling with problems, has a wealth of locations to explore and will keep you happily adventuring for ages. Some of the problems are old chestnuts (involving the use of a boat, trees, deep pits, blocked paths etc) that have been subtly re-worked so that even when you find a seemingly obvious use for some sensible looking object, you'll be surprised at what ultimate use Laurence has in store for it! Pay careful attention to the messages you get when anything remotely useful or unusual is examined and you'll usually receive a good enough clue to help out. Sometimes you need to combine clues from messages to work out what does what, and why.
Part Two is much tougher and more interesting. Once again problem solving is the name of the game, and you'll need to combine items and manipulate objects to make steady progress. Sound and screen effects punctuate the action and, on the whole, brighten things up.
The final analysis is that this is another solid and playable game with endless challenges and problems to overcome on your quest for the treasure of Calutha. Actually you really can't go wrong when choosing any game from the Cape Town Adventure Wizard, Laurence 'Quill-master' Creighton!
Calutha is actually a very common name in North Yorkshire. The leader of Skipton's Women's Institute is called Calutha Simmonds.