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Zenobi Software
Clive Wilson
1992
Adventure: Text
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

29
Tim Kemp
Chris Bourne

This is another one written by Clive Wilson, one of my favourite adventure writers. His games are usually simple, straightforward and fun. Tears Of The Moon is a bit of an exception - it's got a strange kind of feel to it.

Plotwise, a traditional style warp in time and space opens up and sucks you through into a weird world. What world is it? Why were you sucked into it? All is made clear as you play the game. You feel you know the strange landscape, and the first thing to do is examine your surroundings. Before too long you'll see that despite this strange place being somewhat foreboding, desolate, overgrown, run down and in a general state of messiness you will have uncovered a few useful looking objects. Anything you find should be carefully examined (carefully being the operative word on some occasions) and the messages you receive after scrutinising your possessions will more often than not suggest their future uses.

You actually start the adventure with a rather nice ring which, when held up to the light, sparkles brightly. Take note of that fact when you are stuck somewhere dark. The actual point of the game (and the story) unravels as you play, so I'll say no more about it here as much of the fun of this fantasy romp is in finding out what you have to do. It was only after solving about half the game that I was given a clear idea of what I should be doing.

Unlike many adventures this game gets easier as you play, only when the rather unusual and highly imaginative 'end-game' is brought into play does it get harder. There are one or two places where you'll undoubtedly be stuck, but they will be overcome if you use as many combinations of words/objects/actions as you can think of. There are a heck of a lot of hidden rooms, niches, nooks and crannies to find and examine - rather too many in fact. The odd sudden death pops up here and there and the object carried allowance is rather meagre. The Tears of the Moon is a game aimed at the novice adventurer, which is no bad thing. However, with the sudden deaths, odd (ish) gameplay etc, it may be a bit too taxing for a novice. On the other hand the problems are nicely designed, not too hard and work well.

The Tears of the Moon doesn't seem to know where it's going half the time, and winds up being just okay. The first quarter is good fun. When you reach the halfway mark you'll only then find out what you are doing in this strange land. By the three-quarter stage you could be thoroughly confused - but still have fared well, and by the time you reach the final stages you will suddenly be expected to solve things in a different way. It seems to have been constructed from several different ideas - none of them really sitting comfortably with one another.

8/10
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