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Arcade: Adventure
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Matthew Uffindell, Lloyd Mangram
Chris Bourne

Use of Computer: 80%
Graphics: 85%
Playability: 90%
Getting Started: 68%
Addictive Qualities: 89%
Value for Money: 95%
Overall: 85%

In issue 2 we said that Alchemist was Imagine's first step into the mist-shrouded world of terror and mystery. Perhaps overating it somewhat! Alchemist, however, was Imagine's first attempt at anything with adventure overtones in an otherwise arcade style game.

Alchemist does have some imaginative graphics, although I can't agree with the review, 'exceptional graphics... excellent graphics'. They are quite old looking and don't move very easily about the screen. The keyboard layout is poor. Overall this game comes nowhere near Atic Atac, as mentioned in the original review. The castle which seemed massive on first playing has dwindled down to just a dozen separate rooms. I think was overrated.

I don't entirely agree about the graphics. They are quite original, certainly very detailed. If they move awkwardly it is more because of their size and the inertia which has been added. On the other hand I do think Alchemist lacks a lot in playability because of the content, which isn't very high. It's an easily completed game and unlike Atic Atac doesn't have sufficient arcade interest once completed to keep you having another go.

(Matthew) The 80% for use of computer doesn't hold up as far as the keyboard play goes, and I wouldn't give it more than 69% now. The graphics too, by today's standard, would have to come down, probably around the 72% mark. As to its addictive qualities, well the original 89% is right out of the window! More like 60% for me.

(Lloyd) I wouldn't push the graphics down much at all, they still look fine to me. It got 90% for playability, well it's fun to start with but I think that's over the top. It seems to me, looking back on it, that Alchemist was among the first of a generation of games which tried to get definitely away from the shoot em up tradition, so perhaps its ratings were more appropriate then than they are now. Certainly it's addictive qualities were rated far too high, I think around the 68% mark now.

Screenshot Text

Zapping in the Alchemist

Flapping in the Alchemist