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

91
Paul Sumner, Dave Hawkes, Nathan Jones
Chris Bourne

Old Mr Crutcher has, to put it bluntly, snuffed it. This puts his widowed wife in difficulty, because before he passed to a better place her spouse had taken it into his head to hide her jewels from potential thieves.

So, after a bit of lateral thinking, she decides to employ a thief to find them for her.

As The Edge's game begins, this tea leaf is in her spacious home, about to begin his search. He can move in all directions through the house, exiting through one doorway and appearing in the doorway of the adjacent room. The thief can also climb stairs and leap onto furniture.

One room is seen at a time, in 3-D and great detail. Each is furnished with such items as tables, chairs, telephones, bookcases and paintings. Each object is independent of every other, so a telephone that rests on a small table can be pushed to the floor. Other items can be picked up and dropped.

The careful manipulation of these objects is important to solving the puzzles that will lead to the missing gems. There are numerous sub-problems which can earn welcome points: for instance, pocketing the snooker balls or picking up a bottle when carrying a glass add to your score.

The 12 gems are hidden in a variety of places, some obvious, others in more obscure positions. There are hidden passageways to be discovered, pictures to be moved and disguised wall safes to be uncovered before all the jewellery can be found.

But it's not as simple as it sounds - the products of the late Mr Crutcher's bizarre scientific experiments see to that. Some of the rooms are patrolled by savage mice and budgies that can take down a criminal's life force faster than a long stretch in the nick.

When a jewel has been picked up, it must be taken the bedroom of Lady Crutcher and dropped before her.

CRITICISM

'This 3-D arcade adventure surpasses even the great M.O. V.I. E.. It's the closest thing to real life on the Spectrum. Nearly everything you can do in a real house is possible in Inside Outing - even down to jumping on the pool table and kicking the balls into the pockets. And the superbly drawn and animated graphics (you wouldn't think you could get so much detail on a wine bottle) add to the lifelike affect. Inside Outing is set up very like Piranha's Nosferatu, but everything seems much more realistic - the graphics are more solid, and there are many more objects (like a pile of plates In the dining room, each one of which is an individual object which can be picked up separately). The jewels are also hidden in the most strange (but obvious if you've seen a lot of thrillers) places - I even found one in a wall safe behind a painting. It all makes Inside Outing a gem of a game.' PAUL ... 94%

'At first Inside Outing reminded me of MO.V.I.E. - but I was let down. This is a novel game with some lovely 3-D graphics and lots of detail in every room, but in monochrome it looks very plain. And it soon gets boring just walking around a house.' DAVE ... 76%

'The inlay says 'never before have you seen a 3-D game as impressive as this!' - but The Edge produced the classic 3-D arcade adventures Fairlight and Fairlight II, which are far better than this. The objects in this 3-D house are so out of proportion they make the whole game look stupid (the phone is twice as big as the tables and chairs). Despite these faults, Inside Outing is quite playable and it's easy to make all the necessary moves. But it's all been done before much better...' NATHAN ... 75%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: superb - every object is individually designed to look as near to the real thing as possible
Sound: simple, poor spot effects
General Rating: One of the greatest arcade adventures since Movie and The Great Escape, Inside Outing is very involving (though nothing new) and the graphics are stunningly detailed.

70%
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Screenshot Text

A gem: Inside Outing

'The closest thing to real life' or 'just walking around a house'?