Kobyashi Naru - which for some reason sounds to me like it should be the name of a Japanese supertanker - is an icon-driven graphic adventure with some very impressive twists.
The plot is simple enough. You want to become immortal and to do so must complete three tests - the Kobyashi Naru. You choose which of the tests you want to take first - will you first pursue wisdom, understanding or enlightenment? It's really the screen layout and actual play mechanics which are particularly nice.
At the centre of the screen you get a graphic window showing you what you can see in front of you - usually a landscape, although sometimes it will be an object which you are using or examining.
Then, grouped around the graphics window are a number of icons - little pictures representing actions which you might wish to attempt. In total there are 23, which gives you a fairly wide range of options to choose from. They include the familiar: arrows representing movement in the cardinal compass points - and they include the not so familiar - sometimes you have to pick an option to find out not only what it means but what it does. You can use either the cursor keys and the Fire key, or a joystick, to choose the icon you want.
A really neat little adventure. It may not appeal to the hardened text adventure fanatics but should sell well to those willing to try something a bit different.
Reviewer: Gary Rook
Great budget icon-driven graphic adventure - tough and enjoyable, now worth every penny.