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Terry Taylor
Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Derek Brewster
Chris Bourne

This Quilled adventure offers much more than a cursory glance might suggest. The theme chosen is one I much enjoy - ancient Greece - which I think suits the medium of adventure very well (though some unfortunates may well recall curiously inappropriate Latin lessons which have irrevocably tarnished these wondrous Greek stories).

Another plus for reviewers like myself is the superb information pack received with the game - a lesson for all budding software producers, who sometimes overlook the importance of clear instructions and information in developing product identity.

Your Herculean task in this one is to guide Hercules through a series of tasks (12 in all) asked of him by Eurystheus to assuage the strong man's guilt over cutting up his own family. Hercules's behaviour which is, of course, completely out of character, is explained away by his good friend, Theseus, who reminds him of Hera's curse upon him. By going to the oracle our hero finds his way of gaining grace: he takes on the 12 tasks which by and large must be completed in the order set by Eurystheus.

Your journey will throw you into the fascinating world of Greek mythology. You will encounter the fearsome Hydra, the Minotaur, Cerberus the terrible guardian of the underworld, and other characters from the realms of legend. Explore ancient Greece, cross wide plains, negotiate dangerous mountains and treacherous swamps, and sail the vast ocean to distant lands and islands… sounds like a holiday brochure from the days before Club 18-30.

Though it's a Quilled text-only affair, The Labours Of Hercules is a very engaging piece of software, and it has chosen some superb legends from which to create its problems. The location descriptions are often quite evocative, as in the case of the Royal Throne Room: 'This room surpasses anything that Hercules has ever seen. The walls are adorned with magnificent frescoes depicting all manner of exotic flowers, birds and animals. The floor is a huge mosaic, and tells of the battle of the Titans. At the head of the room is a huge marble throne, and seated on that throne is the regal figure of Eurystheus. It is from this location that the tasks are meted out.

The EXAMINE reports are contrastingly short, but the important thing is that just about everything can be examined, whether central to the plot or not.

A good theme with good problems - what more does an adventure need? The Labours Of Hercules is available by mail order only from Terry Taylor at 20 Lee Road, Bacup, Lancashire 01 13 OEA.

DIFFICULTY: made easier by referring to the Greek myths
PRESENTATION: redesigned character set
RESPONSE: fast Quill


General Rating: Interesting theme and plot.


Screenshot Text

The mythology of ancient Greece and the technology of today make for an evocative challenge in The Labours of Hercules. (It's text-only; this is the loading screen.)