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Dale Samson
Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Richard Price
Chris Bourne

Heading south of Kingston Falls and slipping back several centuries in time you could find yourself sweltering in the tropical jungles of the Amazon basin. Being a bold conquistador with, I'm sorry to say, the rather juvenile name of Pisartis, you travel in search of the fabled gold of El Dorado.

Whilst you are slashing your way through the steaming veg you encounter the statue of the great Lord of the Sun, the god Inti. He orders you to find his golden helmet, hidden in a lost valley. Magnanimously he will let you keep any other gold you find.

El Dorado is a reasonably priced text adventure with added graphics - those are pleasant and fast though purely decorative. The interpreter bears remarkable resemblances to the Quill, though I am prepared to be corrected if I am wrong - no credit was given. Whatever the case, input is in standard Quill format.

The game is atmospheric, descriptions are full and produce strong images to relate to. The ruined city in the valley comes to life, giving a proper sense of place. The writer is clearly interested in the Inca period and has tried to keep within historical boundaries.

The game has about 75 locations and the action is linear - you over- come one problem at a time and then go on to the next. That is not to say the game is boring; I found the search compulsive when combined with the moody descriptions.

Add twisting jungle tracks which take you in circles and confuse your sense of direction, a few sticking points where you need to pay close attention to 'Help' information, claustrophobic tombs and subterranean passages where jaguars and pythons roam and you will find you are playing an entertaining, moderately difficult game which is real value for money.

In some ways I would rather have less locations in a game and more general detail - far too many games with 150 plus locations rely on one line descriptions and lose as a result. El Dorado costs less than the average night out at the pictures and will keep your brain working a lot longer. Not bad at all.

Publisher: Atlantis Software
Memory: 48K
Price: £1.99