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Walter Pooley
Walter Pooley
Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Tim Kemp
Chris Bourne

Don't think I've gone GI Games mad because I haven't. It's just that they've been releasing so many games since they started that I could, in fact, fill up every adventure column from now to Christmas with nothing but GI reviews.

Again, The Pyramid is a fairly old game and you wouldn't guess from its unassuming title what a little gem it is. It reminds me a lot of those old Scott Adams adventures that I cut my adventuring teeth on years and years ago. The location text, screen display, game design and storyline can all be summed up in one word - functional! Despite that, the game has a certain style that enables you to make swift progress once you learn how things work. It's a bit of a shame that the opening problems in the game are rather dull and annoying. There you stand, slap bang in the middle of the desert with no protection from the withering suns rays. You are told that you are searching for the lost pyramid of Rak-Tuman, and the tales of the riches that lie within will spur you on to find it, gain entry and become rich! On the help-sheet, the author has taken great pleasure in adding a little note that says the desert is virtually impossible to map, which means that it's a maze! Mazes make me mad! Fortunately you'll find that you have a map about your personage. Unfortunately you try to read it and a sudden gust of wind comes up and blows it away. Oh, I see, you start in a maze (which I hate) and an unforeseen wind (one that appears without the slightest warning) blows your map away. Not a good start. You'll notice you have a gun with you... I tried SHOOT ME (as I was fed up at being in a maze and loosing my map) but despite BANG! appearing on screen I must have missed!

STORE and RECALL are the RAMSAVE and LOAD substitutes in this game, and once again you'll be making frequent use of them throughout your journey. Upon restarting the game I found that typing help at location one, following the advice given and waiting 'til you come across somewhere nice to read your map will help out quite a lot. There are still a few hairy moments before the game settles down to a more steady pattern, so don't think that the whole adventure is one long line of irritating setbacks. For a good while you'll find that you have to die at every obstacle before you can learn the secret of how to progress. Luckily the STORE and RECALL commands enable you to skip through the sudden deaths and unexpected pitfalls.

I must say that I was glad of the help I got from the help-sheet which is one of the most helpful I've ever come across. It really is a shining example of what a help-sheet should be. It lists the objects and where they are; it details the treasures to be found within the pyramid and there's a bit about what various objects are used for. There's also two sections concerning general gameplay and advice on how to overcome tricky bits when you encounter them.

Once you reach the fabled pyramid and gain entry you'll really be getting into the swing of things. The treasures to be collected include several golden artifacts, ivory tusks and such like. Each one when found and deposited in a certain location adds 10% to your overall score. In true adventure fashion some are easier than others to collect.

As well as the wondrous 'goodies' you seek, there are, of course, the more mundane objects that will invariably be used to aid your progress. At a certain point you'll benefit from knowing a bit about Mummies and their habits and on more than one occasion I found myself coming across obstacles that I'd seen before in other games. That's not a problem though, and you'll undoubtedly enjoy playing this game for what it is, pure and simple fun.