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Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Richard Price
Chris Bourne

THE WORLD of fairy tale is married with text adventure in The Magic Sword, a book ware package with a format calculated to appeal to the six to eight year-old child.

The story pits Princess Poppy and Prince Fred against Bad Bertha the wicked witch and is attractively illustrated without being desperately original in content. The tale ends with the imprisonment of the princess by Bertha. At that point you load up your program and take on the part of Fred in his quest for the sword. Naturally, he must rescue pretty Poppy from her ordeal.

The adventure uses bright, blocky graphics and enlarged text to help the young reader. Movement and a few basic actions are carried out by single key presses. A compass flashes out the directions in which it is possible to move - a useful and sensible idea given that children of this age will have little concept of cardinal points. It is the kind of game which will probably be best played with an adult to help, at least at the beginning.

Although the package is well produced the press blurb suggests that the game is suitable for toddlers. This is definitely not the case as the reading and reasoning skills required are well beyond tinies. More sophisticated juniors might also find the story a little old hat.

Nevertheless, this is a creditable attempt to reach an age group who are rarely catered for in games computing.

Richard Price

Memory: 48K
Price: £8.95