1988
Arcade: Adventure
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Firebird BleepLoad

107
Mark Caswell, Kati Hamza, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

Merlin Jnr has been left to tidy up his master's castle. Renowned for his clumsiness, it's not long before he releases the four talismen of Trodor the Demon. Now the evil one's power is free to roam the castle and the only way to prevent disaster is for Merlin Jnr to restore the talismen to their rightful place. Each charm is split into four segments, which must be returned whole to one of the castle's four temples.

Numerous demons traverse the chambers, and contact with these causes the player to lose energy. However, finding a pentangle restores Merlin Jnr's flagging spirits. Although initially defenceless, Junior is able to hurl bolts of mystic energy at the baddies once he has found the two spells which enable him to do so.

Objects vital to the success of his mission include two keys - one allowing access via the wooden doors of the castle, the other opening the metal doors of the dungeon.

CRITICISM

'Just because games are released at a budget price, some software houses see it as a good excuse to chum out their worst programs. Okay, Demon's Revenge isn't totally naff, but it's nearing the bottom of the barrel. Graphically the game is okay but the nasty demons are rather simplistically drawn - especially the skeletons, which hobble around in an amusing way. This very simple collect 'em up failed to hold my attention for any length of time.' MARK

'Sorcerer's apprentices are traditionally dogged by bad luck. Merlin Jnr also has the misfortune of appearing in a fairly insipid adventure. The graphics are finely detailed and create a grim atmosphere, but they can't compensate for bland and bungled gameplay. The instructions are a feeble attempt to make sense of a completely illogical system. Pressing the keys to select and drop an object variously causes the inventory to swap items around, drop something completely different, or place the desired object in a totally undesired place. Irrational and thoroughly unaddictive.' KATI

'There is so much wrong with this game: the characters are badly defined, monochrome sprites that move across the screen in jerky diagonals. The spot effects are just basic beeps and there is no tune whatsoever. None of the monsters look menacing and they only kill if you stay in one place for about five minutes! The idea of collecting objects isn't exactly new, and since they don't have any effect on what your character can do, it seems a total waste of time.' NICK

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: the main perspective appears successful, but when the characters begin to move within it the game falls apart
Sound: very basic and lacking a tune
Options: definable keys and three levels of difficulty (Easy, Hmm... and Heavy!)
General Rating: Poor enough to give budget games a bad name.

53%
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