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CRL Group PLC
1987
Adventure: Text
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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89
Mike Gerrard
Chris Bourne

After a success with Dracula, it's only natural that Rod Pike and CRL would turn to Frankenstein in the hope of having another monster hit. Dracula wasn't the hardest game, with far too much sitting round and waiting, but it had lots of lovely atmospheric text for players to read. With Frankenstein we don't even get that in what must be the biggest disappointment the Spectrum adventurer's likely to see this year.

The aim of the game is to find and destroy the monster you created some years previously.

In the opening location you have four moves before a storm brings the roof down on your head. If you EXPLORE BEDROOM or SEARCH BEDROOM you're told "I can't for some reason", while if you merely LOOK you find some money. Convincing, huh? So two of your four moves are LOOK and GET MONEY. No exits are given (they never are) so only by trying all exits in turn, N-S-E-W, and by dying a few times do you discover that there's a door to the west. This is not the way to get the player on your side at the start of an adventure. Especially as, once you're out of the room, you can't go back in again. The programmer's obviously got to keep you out as the roof's just fallen in, but it seems strange how a few feet away the storm's so violent that it smashes the bedroom to pieces, while on the other side of a door you can't see or hear a thing.

Downstairs in the living room if you examine the chimney you discover a picture of your parents, which you take. If you examine it again to check if anything else is there, you discover. . . a picture of your parents. Type 'X' and the painting has gone from your inventory, so get it again. Even if you go upstairs and drop the painting on the landing, it always turns up on the wall again each time you examine the chimney. Type RAM SAVE and you're told to start the tape. Type CLIMB ON CHAIR in the living room and you find yourself at the top of the stairs. You're told the movement commands are N-S-E-W-V-D, yet the program recognises SE but not SW, NE or NW. And if you type D in the living room you're told "I see nothing of particular interest."

The only exit from the living room is a locked door to the east, which it is impossible to get through unless your father comes in and opens it from the outside. But (and this is so bad it's funny), he only comes in if you WAIT while sitting in an armchair. WAIT while not sitting and he doesn't arrive. This is really scraping the barrel as far as problem setting goes. And then you're no sooner out of the door and the programmer throws you into a maze. If this had been submitted by a reader I'd have sent it back and said it wasn't good enough to review. As it's from CRL and many maybe tempted to buy it, I'll review it just to say that it isn't worth reviewing.

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