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Marlin Games
Linda Wright
1987
Adventure: Text
£2.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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85
Mike Gerrard
Chris Bourne

There seem to be very few poor efforts among the PAW'd adventures now starting to pour out - a sign that most of the authors are already familiar with the Quill way of working. Someone who's certainly familiar with all utilities is Linda Wright, as some of her GAC'd games have been published by Incentive, but for the Amstrad only. You know the Amstrad. It's a computer. One or two people bought them.

Anyway, Linda's seen fit to make the star of her Spectrum game a female character - and quite right too. Far too many blokes bashing about the place. The heroine of the two-part tale is Amara, from the Kingdom of Nulom, and her task is to rescue her fiance, Amanton, who's a bit of a wimp and has gone and got himself captured by the dastardly Mallumo of Kradoom, a sorceror. The game may have several things going for it, but good names isn't one of them. They sound like they've come from an Adventure Name Generator program. The other drawback is the character set that's been chosen, which I found very hard to read, so lose a few Brownie Points there.

On the other hand, the adventure itself is first rate. PAW's screen-handling has been used well - a graphic quickly drawn at the top, followed by a fixed location description; then a bar of a different colour which both lists the visible exits and divides the screen nicely from the scrolling messages and inputs beneath. The text is well written, and I like the way that objects in the location descriptions sometimes have to be used if you're to make any progress - an innocent piece of furniture could be concealing something that might have a point to it... or might not. And don't forget to use your feminine charms - if you can make a guard blush you're thinking along the right lines.

PAW's parser can cope with most inputs of course, provided the author's thought to cater for everything, and that certainly seems to be the case here. I noticed little things, like acceptance of both EXAM and EXAMI as abbreviations for EXAMINE; TAKE and GET both accepted; and even PURCHASE is in there as an alternative to BUY. You can COUNT MONEY, that's assuming you work out how to get some in the first place. It's also a very moral adventure: good deeds earn their rewards.

My advice on The Jade Stone is that there's no need to EXAMINE IT first, just get out and PURCHASE IT pronto - though don't try swearing at it if you get stuck. Not unless you've saved the game first as no un-ladylike language will be tolerated in this home-grown goodie.

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