A touch of the old Blazing Saddles and Little Big Man with this, the first MEDALLION release from INCENTIVE produced with their Graphic Adventure Creator. Peter Torrance is the chap who Quilled those cheapie classics Subsunk and Seabase Delta put out by FIREBIRD, so it will be interesting to see how he performs with this new adventure medium at full-price level.
It's 2am in the saloon bar of an old west town - known as Skintsvllle for good reason, as its inhabitants, including yourself, are short of readies. You are Luke Warm, by both name and nature, as you sip on your tenth and last shot of liquor. Through the smoky atmosphere you make out the rotund outlines of some old-timers sitting in the corner, and presently their voices drift over above the din of the bar. "Yap Jake, the legend I their gold in the grave of their chief, goes that them pesky indians bury I hear that one of the Apache chiefs has just kicked the bean-can. Only trouble is there are some mighty strange powers at work in their territory ... " Our chap isn't too keen on the spooky stuff, but is quite excited at the prospect of seeing the glint of gold in his eyes and sets off to find the injun's grave...
Groan. Yes - an irritant is spotted as soon as you start playing. Your input begins straight after the end of the location description (and on the same line). This is not altogether untidy, but what makes it worse is the splitting of words between lines. Groan Number Two is the way the program leaves one or two lines of the previous location description on the top of anew location description when the graphics are on (although this seems to be a GAC trait). All-in-all, there's a slightly scruffy look to this game. The pictures would be considered quite good for a budget release, but when you get to the dizzy heights of £7.95 they don't look so good.
Loading leads you straight into the first frame, where you find yourself in the back of a wagon on a wild open plain. This first part is remarkably straightforward, with a brief and cursory examination of what you see quickly leading onto tangible progress. These early problems are just a little too easily solved for anyone other than a beginner. For example, after your inevitable capture by the indians, simply wearing a blanket gives the guard the creeps as he flees what he regards as a great white spirit. "I'm 'urn off!" he screams.
Reading the sign on the totem pole reveals that the indians are out to lunch (or more correctly, out hunting it). This gives you time to explore their cosy little settlement, but you'll encounter your first real difficulty in finding out exactly what the somethin' glitterin' atop the totem pole is. All attempts to dislodge said item with the tomahawk or spirit stick from the medicine man's wigwam come to nothing, as did the obvious attempt to chop the pole down. This isn't the only problem to be resolved in this area: getting the canoe under way in the fast flowing river also requires some thought.
Once you get the wagon going again (it had lost a wheel) there is a large area to the east to explore. Picking up all the items on your journey (and you are allowed to carry a considerable numbs you are then left in the familiar adventure dilemma - which objects are associated with which problems? Objects I can remember include a spirit stick, tomahawk, a bottle of dirty water, a doctor's medicine cure, a hanging rope, a sack, some dirt, and a squaw's handbag. Problems abound in the east, with a skull on a stick guarding the entrance to a mine, a huge eagle on its nest on top of a rock face, and the painful problem of negotiating the hot desert sand without burning your feet.
The adventure has some fine touches, like when you throw the dirt on the fire which gives off puffs of smoke. Examining the smoke reveals your total lack of understanding of smoke language - "Wish I knew Smoke Code" is the amusing riposte.
The Legend of Apache Gold is an entertaining adventure which is far from difficult. Both experienced players and novices would find much to do and explore in this land of the indians.
: not difficult, easy startGraphics
: blinding bright white backgroundInput facility
: basically verb/nounResponse
: reasonable, not as fast as Quilled gamesGeneral Rating: