Deep in the forest, something stirred. The situation was at boiling point. Two wizards had got into a stew and put the villagers into a right old pickle. Simmer down, I'll soon get over these half-baked, oven-ready pans - sorry, puns, ch(i)ef.
Learic and Leanoric are involved in a spelling contest - using real spells! - so they'll need lots of herbs to give them power. Now the yokels don't mind the fireballs and lightning flashes - after all, they've got that nuclear power station just down the coast - but the absence of herbs has made their cooking terribly bland.
Still, culinary considerations mean nothing to L 'n' L as they proceed to give each other 'ell. They wander high and low, and even round in circles, because one side of the village links up with the other, which must make navigating tricky for tourists who're just passing through.
But you'll be clever enough to make a map, won't you, because this is an a-maze-ing place and the screen flips make getting lost simplicity itself! Every second counts, so you'll need to know where your cauldron lies when you get a pair of herbs to work that old black magic!
You can only mix spells to add to your spell book at your very own pot, so rush back there to arm yourself. Stand above it and press fire and hey presto, you've got the force. Spell selection is clever too. Use right and left with fire pressed to scroll through the list, then release fire to activate.
Once you think you're well-enough armed, you can go looking for Leanoric, and don't dawdle because he'll also come after you, and he has a trick up his sleeve that you've not perfected - he can teleport to your vicinity.
There's quite a lot of strategy involved, even once you've got the map of where to find the herbs. You have to create certain spells almost immediately to stand any chance of success. It's not giving too much away to suggest that you make Teleport a priority.
The game may appear rather slow, because much of the time you're wandering alone through the beautifully drawn countryside. But the race for herbs soon becomes tense, particularly when you find yourself and your arch-rival in the same screen, chasing for a bloom! A clever piece of arcade strategy, at a budget price, and that's feud for thought!
The all important spell scroll scrolls away here, ingredients that you've obtained appear in red, as do spells that you actually possess.
Villagers wander around their houses and along the highways. But could they be more than mere decoration? Only experimentation with spells will tell.
Locked in combat at last. The action freezes when you choose a spell, which gives you a chance to set up quite complex sequences. I favour Freeze followed by my missile attack, but casting Protect can be useful in a duel.
Ever had a day when you felt like sinking into the ground? That's what happens to the opponents as they lose strength. Use this to find out whether Leanoric has a Heal spell. If he has, he'll suddenly shoot up again after that zapping you gave him!
Finding Leanoric should be no problem. The compass contains a primitive form of radar, and the illuminated direction leads to the fiend!