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Colin Smith
1983
Adventure: Text
£5.95
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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87
Chris Bourne

"I am in a grim prison cell. A barred window is to the NORTH and a rusting but strong cell door is to the EAST." Thus starts Devil's Island, a Quill-written text adventure from Gilsoft's Gold Collection. That's about all the plot explanation you'll get despite the references on the first intro screen that full instructions are on the cassette inlay. But where? That minor quibble apart, the adventure is a regular Quill one, with instant text response and straightforward, clear and interesting descriptions.

Starting off in a cell on Devil's Island makes your aim quite clear - escape. For those who know it not, Devil's Island is the infamous French prison island set in the tropics. The heavily guarded prison was surrounded by dense, killing jungle, unfriendly natives - just the sort of place invented especially for adventure games.

CRITICISM

'Starting this game is a bit like waking in the morning and finding that the nightmare isn't over - you really are a wretched captive. But this prison reminds me more of Patrick McGoohan's 'The Prisoner' series. It all seems set up to let you escape a little bit. I thought eating a tasty pie was a good thing On adventure terms - keeps your stamina up and so on) but little did I realise that it would make me too fat to squeeze through the . . . Colin Smith has a nasty sense of humour and must be the sort of person who enjoys pulling flies' wings off before eating his breakfast. Great stuff.'

'An exceedingly well-plotted adventure this, with well-planted red herrings to keep you running around in circles for ages - well not realty, because you quickly get shot by the trigger-happy guards. Once I got the hang of it, though, I neatly disposed of my guards and escaped into the jungle in a super smooth Mission Impossible way. But that was just the beginning, and I'm still on this rotten jungle island. '

'One of those games that goes to prove you don't need pictures to liven up adventures. The text is alive enough to flash up pictures in your mind's eye anyway. A classic escape game (I didn't make it - not yet anyway) but I shall try many times more. It's nice to see that relatively simple games like this, without artificial intelligence or elaborate Inglish or interactive characters who wander in and out of their own accord, can still be so engrossing. I should think this would be a good adventure even for beginners as long as they can get past hurdles like waste chutes, iron bars and searchlights. Keep trying - there are ways and means ...'

COMMENTS
Responses: instant
General Rating: Very good, lengthy, well-plotted adventure at a good price.

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