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Matand Software
Matthew Holmes
Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Derek Brewster
Chris Bourne

The year is 3050, the planet Alfa- Ren, the inhabitants human. Earth is no more than a dead, desolate rock floating in space. Just before the war between the superpowers a few thousand people were sent to a planet called Alfa-Ren. Among these people were scientists, doctors and all the other professions needed to sustain life on a new planet. The biggest mistake in selecting these people was choosing a Professor Deemus, an evil, insane, but clever man set on ruling Alfa-Ren or destroying it in the process. With a bomb which would destroy half the planet f it exploded and leave the other half slowly dying, the professor represented a grave threat to the inhabitants of Alfa-Ren should he have ever contemplated the unthinkable.

Professor Deemus ends up doing the unthinkable, detonate his bomb destroying the southern hemisphere, and now radiation is encroaching on the north. But there is a hope. Professor Ferric is perfecting his time machine. He hopes to travel back in time to before the catastrophe. Intending to search for and find Prof Deemus, he is also intent on finding the Doomsday Papers, the work of some top scientists detailing how to make the bomb, secretly stolen by the madman. Professor Ferric is way overdue returning from a trip back in time and you, his assistant, take it upon yourself to travel back in time before it is too late.

The Doomsday Papers is one of the better programs reviewed this month. It has chosen one of my favourite solutions to the memory problem; it has decided upon a few infrequent quality graphics. I like this answer because you can genuinely look forward to each new graphic, as much a highlight to an adventure as is a goal in a football match. The game has a reasonably friendly vocabulary (let down by the ridiculously worded solution to the pile of rubbish problem), some super little sounds, and merrily rolls on, perhaps a little too easily. Some of the ways in which you advance are just a bit too arbitrary for my liking, for example, falling down a hole you climb out of it to find yourself in a totally new location - simply by falling and getting out of a hole.

Matand Software will sell by mail order in the first instance. They can be contacted at 29 Moorland Road, Mickleover, Derby DE3 5FX.


Difficulty: easy
Graphics: quite good
Presentation: okay (Spectrum capitals)
Input facility: verb/noun
Response: Quill
General Rating: Quite good.