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The Edge
Michael St Aubyn
1988
Arcade: Adventure
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

58,59
Rachael Smith
Chris Bourne

When we offered Rachael J Smith an Outing, she said goody! But when we locked her Inside an old, dark house she was driven to The Edge of distraction!

Eeek - sneak thief Smiffy here, trapped and unhappy. Not that I've been banged up (in gaol, you pervy little pustule) No, I just saw all these milk bottles and newspapers piled up outside the big house on the hill you know, the one which used to be owned by the late, local, loony professor, and I couldn't resist it.

I'm a member of my neighbourhood watch, see (I watch out for places where the occupants are away). So I thought I'd check the front door and gor blimey (as me old friend Mr Knuckles used to say) whatdya know - it was open. What else could a buxom burglar do? I broke an entry.

And that's when strange things started to happen - like the door swinging shut and staying that way! All the windows were locked too. Seems like old man Crutcher (Rest In Pieces - what a messy explosion that was!) had crutched me good. But that wasn't the biggest surprise. Blow me down, guv, if the house wasn't empty after all.

Yes, I strayed into Lady C's bedroom and what do I see but the old bat herself, flittering around and waiting for me. "At last," she cried "a member of the criminal classes There's never one around when you need one."

Then she went on to explain why shed lured me into her horrible house. Seems her stiffy spouse had odd ideas about security and instead of consigning her sparklers to the local Barclays he'd hidden them around the mansion. Only problem was he'd popped his clogs before telling her where they were stowed.

"So I thought who better to find them than a burglar?" her ladyship summed up. There are twelve diamonds and limited time so you'd better get cracking - as in safe-cracking." "And what if I say no?" I asked, thinking that NULFI (the National Union of Light- Fingered Individuals) wouldn't be too keen on this sort of non-profitmaking activity. "In that case I'll feed you to the budgie," she smiled.

Feed me to the budgie?!! Listen, anything less savage than an alsatian don't scare me, so... Argh! The ex-Prof was into genetic Meccano and built himself a killer canary and some monstrous mice to guard his crumbling pile.

The thing that really sets Inside Outing apart is that, as well as providing enough nightmares to keep mappers awake for ages, there are also fiendish problems inside the rooms. Imagine searching your bedroom for a lost pin it could be in a drawer, under a plate, behind a picture. Anywhere!

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There's nothing more useful to a thief than a plan of the property so here are the first few rooms of the des-res, courtesy of Messrs Snatch, Pinch, and Steal, estate agents to the light-fingered!

Unhappy landings. There's a bird in here and it wants to cover you in... consternation, so dodge unless you know how to stun it.

Well and truly lumbered. There appears to be a door behind this pile of furniture but you'll need to neutralise Captain Canary before you can shift it!

Grate detail! There's even a flickering fire in here but don't scorch yourself on it or you'll lose strength.

Going up. You have to jump to ascend the stairs to the first floor. There are pictures as you go - check them out to see if they conceal a safe!

There's a mouse in my kitchen! Actually there are two and they make straight for you. If only you could find some cheese but all there is here are doughnuts and wine.

With two mice on patrol you won't want to dawdle so use Hold to look for suspicious panels in the master bedroom, if you want to master a short-cut.

Upstairs, downstairs, in my Lady's chamber... so be careful you don't put your foot in it! This is where you deliver the diamonds. A number on her dresser shows how many are left!

Mouse-trapped. There's something stuck behind these shelves - a mouse, we think, trapped by a chair. Would it be there if it didn't have something to guard?

It's for yoo-hoo. Whenever a phone rings, pick it up. Seems the irritating trimphone warble is as off-putting to the guards as it is in real life.

The front door - only it's shut to you. This is the hallway where you start, and there's no time to lose.

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BITCHIN' IN THE KITCHEN

Successful thieves watch their drawers. No, not their frillys, you daft apeth, but kitchen drawers, which might contain anything from a glass of wine to a flapping bird - or maybe something of real value. Use the pull option to remove the lid then jump down into the cupboard to look around.

TIMES TABLE

There's no exit from this landing - the tables fill the doorways. Like some real-life block-sliding puzzle, you have to become a removal man. To revive your strength there's a glass of wine hidden away and being some cheese too. No, not to accompany the plonk but to pacify the mouse that's running around the ground.

OVER THE TOP

Who'd put a partition right across a room, especially when it's patrolled by a killer mouse? Your best bet is to jump onto the telephone table, then, if the mouse doesn't push it to the shelves, move it yourself. Try searching behind the room divider.

ALL BALLS

The billiard room shows the attention to detail. You can actually roll the four balls around the baize - and potting them scores points, which means that it does some good. But don't ask us what! We've been too busy piling up the furniture to reach the cheese pm the shelf above the door.