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1984
Adventure: Text
£5.50
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links


107,108
Derek Brewster
Chris Bourne

Forest at World's End is released from the same stable as Message from Andromeda, and in almost every respect, resembles its predecessor. Changes have been made - the graphics are much improved but the plot is unimaginative; space adventures are relatively thin on the ground but this fantasy follow-up too often lapses into cliche.

Princess Mara has been captured by the evil wizard Zam. In a sneak attack on the palace his henchmen abducted her and led her to the wizard's stronghold deep within the forest at the world's end. Mara's father, the King no less, has called upon you, the mightiest of ancient warriors, to go where none have returned alive. Your objective is to locate and rescue the princess and return her to the Great Valley.

You set off in the Great Valley with a super graphic of a snow-capped mountain and a huge waterfall cascading towards you. Most of your early escapades are undemanding until you chance upon an evil elf who is not so much lethal as irritating. No matter how you twist and turn you just can't shake him. To the south is the Vale of shadows and the author waxes lyrical, The sun, shining through the trees, creates shifting patterns of light and darkness.' This is an eventful location where you see The Old Man, and get the bow and arrows to put an end to that elf. To kill the elf you will have to go about some word-matching the solution to which strikes me as illogical, but having played countless adventures, what's new? The strange thing is, on killing the elf you are told 'You fire an arrow' and yet FIRE ARROW AT ELF is not accepted for the program does not understand the word FIRE. Weird. Before I leave the elf: If you fool around too long he can end up getting the better of you. You II find other assailants who are similarly prone to an almost unfailingly true arrow. Perhaps in this respect the game loses out to those which now feature a more complex and exciting combat scenario.

The unfriendly vocabulary seen when dealing with the elf may not be the rule as I discovered when I attempted to cross the chasm. Many combinations of words will see the log in place.

Forest at World's End has only about ten graphics or so throughout its whole length but each one is worth savouring as they are of a very high quality. They appear almost instantaneously and are colourfully depicted and highly detailed The input routine has opted for neatness as opposed to efficiency; there is no cursor or beep. Having said this, I found input to be mostly error-tree. In many areas the game becomes difficult to map. Go east and as often as not west will not take you back again. After travelling blind for a while you sometimes come out into an area where the directions become lucid again. The way the game scrolls will annoy many. For some unknown reason the top description scrolls up and off when you input at the bottom. This results in your having to continually use L for LOOK.

The game does not have many problems and those you do come across are unoriginal. If you have a key it opens the chest and a log naturally enough gets you across a chasm. When you are unsure what an object might be useful for it will soon become apparent as all the other objects are tied up with problems leaving the only, one, possible use.

Since of all the aspects of producing a follow-up adventure, plot is that which takes the most time, you can't help the felling that this effort has been churned out on the heels of the last.

Forest at World's End is a mainly text adventure with a few exceptional graphics scattered about the adventure. The author has the noble distinction of placing many fine graphics towards the end. Competent programming gives a rapid response time but the game is quite unique with the absence of SCORE. For an experienced explorer this adventure will pose few lasting problems and offers little that's new. Nevertheless, it is a well executed program, and for some, may provide a worthy distraction.

Difficulty: Easy
Graphics: Few but very good
Presentation: Good
Input Facility: Sentences
Response: Instant

CRITICISM

General Rating: Rather short.

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