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Psychic Software
J. Gillon
Utility: Prediction
ZX Spectrum 48K

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John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

I've always been a softie for astrology, the I Ching and Geomancy, but I still have to be convinced that the subtleties of the Tarot's symbols and meanings can be successfully translated to a computer. The Tarot isn't a fixed science, and interpretation is all.

First disappointment. Psychic's package only features the 56 cards of the Minor Arcana which, surprise, surprise, correspond to the values in a deck of cards. The Major Arcana, which includes The Fool, Justice, The World, and Death, is not included according to the authors because of their possible health risk to young children - waking up screaming in the middle of the night, that kind of thing. Sounds like the best bit.

Once the program has loaded you press a key to deal your 'spread' of cards face down on to the screen: different positions within the 'spread' have different meanings. For instance, the card in the top left-hand corner relates to the near past.

Second disappointment. The Tarot is hopeless. While the computer can spew out the individual meanings of the cards, it cannot relate them to the positions in which the cards fall, and then sum up the general meaning of the spread to give an accurate prediction. All Psychic manages to do is produce a database of Tarot meanings, and put in some fake gypsy music.

The Tarot is a real missed opportunity. It could have been an outstanding package if it had included a real Tarot deck, a booklet of background information, the Major Arcana, greatly improved graphics of the full Tarot set and a really sophisticated Al expert system to handle the interpretation.

John Gilbert

Publisher: Psychic Software, 38 Dawn Walk, Liverpool L10 4YD
Programmer J Gillon
Price: £5.50
Memory: 48K