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8th Day Software
Mike White
1986
Adventure: Text
£6.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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98
Derek Brewster
Chris Bourne

At last, 8TH DAY SOFTWARE have gone all hip-hop and commercial (like) with this offering which mercilessly lampoons the royal beings As Britain has slid into a rather sorry state, the daily trashy papers have nothing more to concern themselves with than the boring everyday machinations of the royal beings. Some of the columns are a bit personal in the press, others affectionate, while others still make satirical mileage out of the royals' peculiarly detached aloofness, a family apart. This game is certainly of the latter category, so if you're the type who goes fishing when there's a Royal Wedding on the telly then HRH will be right up your street, even if it's just a row of crumbling terraces.

The cover illustration is a one penny stamp depicting a po-faced monarch with her two index fingers pointed in a most unbecoming fashion. God Save Our Gracious Queen rings out on loading with a screen which is by appointment to her majesty's bodyguards. But this is only an introduction to the humour which begins with the storyline. It's Wednesday morning and, sitting hunched beneath the letter box waiting for your dole giro, you rummage through an ash tray for a last remaining dog end. After what seems like an eternity the letter arrives. Hallelujah! Eagerly ripping open the DHSS envelope you clutch the giro to your heaving chest, gibbering uncontrollably. Regaining your composure you notice with a gasp of honor that it isn't your name on the giro. Thunderstruck you rack your brain for a local pub called the Queen Elizabeth… until, that is, you notice the address.

The giro slips to the floor, the long line of zeros on it staring accusingly up at you, like Princess Margaret after you've nicked her last bottle of brown ale. It looks as if you've got the Queen's giro, surely she must have yours? Will she have to resort to selling the corgis to MacDonalds to pay for a new chainsaw for Prince William's birthday present..? How is she going to have meals on wheels for the Queen Mother..? And how are you going to pull off handing over a giro with the Queen's insignia on it?

Hoping to save the threatened dignity of our most gracious monarch, and perhaps making a bob or two selling your story to the press, you see yourself being knighted as you hand the Queen her dole money...

This game is Quilled and Illustrated but makes up for its cloned look with a redesigned character set - light on a dark background so its easy to read. Of course the main interest to the game is the humour directed at the royal persons. I think this game's really got something here, as it is well-written and the jokes are well-executed. Quoting the first location may sometimes seem a little too easy but with this game it's well worth while as it is pivotal to the first part of the adventure. 'You are before a small post office counter in a long queue. Standing behind you is Princess Diana waiting for her family allowance. Through a door to the south heavy traffic can be heard moving along the high street. Prince William wears a set of enormous rubber ears upon his head. They sway wildly from side to side as he runs madly about impersonating an aeroplane'.

From this first frame you will see that the royal persons mix quite freely with you in the streets of London, although you must negotiate your way into Buckingham Palace to meet the really aloof ones. Prince William, however, is too young to stand on ceremony, and he snatches the giro from your hand before you've had the time to cash it in. And so begins your task to wrest the giro from the little darling's hands in order to give the Queen her money, but the road to achieving this is amazingly convoluted............. and fun.

There are not that many graphics in this adventure; I can only remember seeing one (the Telecon Box) in the first part of the gameand it would be more honest to consider it a text adventure. The Telecon Box is reached across a zebra crossing which is traversed only when the beeping stops thanks to the constraints of the program. Never mind, the program allows you across and you hear the telephone ringing. Answering it starts a recurring chain of events which have you telling Andrew in Rocksoffs nightclub about the various states of his girlfriends in regards to their being in the family way. I particularly liked this part for its inventiveness and humour qualities which run through the whole adventure. Just a little further on you negotiate the London buses. Very often a change from one route to another is required to get you on to your destination with the EXAMINE command telling you which bus number has pulled up at the bus stop. You will notice around the road area a lot of repetitive car honking which becomes a bit of a bore to read every time but it wouldn't be an adventure without some irritant.

HRH is a really funny adventure. It is long (after quite some time I got the Rule Brittania ending tune and a miserly score of 5 out of a possible 250), well-written, and sufficiently devious to hold your attention for hours at a time. Available mail order from sirs DAY SOFTWARE, 18 Flaxhill, Moreton, Wirral L46 7UH.

CRITICISM

COMMENTS
Difficulty: pretty tricky in places
Graphics: very few
Presentation: neat, if unimaginative
Input facility: verb/noun
Response: fast Quill response
General Rating: Very funny and well constructed.

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Screenshot Text

Inside the telephone box - give Andy a bell down in the nightclub and pass on the news...