CRL Group PLC
1987
Adventure: Text
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

95
Tony Dillon
Chris Bourne

A spoof on Lords of Midnight sounds like a brilliant idea for an adventure, so where does this one go wrong?

It comes in three parts and was written using the Quill, Illustrator and Patch. Your quest is to seek out your companions and go to Cigarash to destroy the frozen crown.

The graphics are simple, very repetitive and take quite a while to draw. The text descriptions are brief, consisting mainly of available exits. Spelling mistakes start to appear with increasing regularity and the messages are disjointed and badly constructed.

The author is obviously an admirer of Fergus McNeil and has used a similar style in writing this adventure but, where this worked for Fergus, it doesn't work for Keith Hughes of Penna Productions.

The playing area is quite large but there is hardly anything to do. You can't examine much and the parser is very limited. In one location you find a bench. If you input "sit on bench", the response comes up, "Rudely ignoring the location description, Ludo decided to be seated on the bench." Input "Stand", response "Ludo, however did not understand a word of that." Try again, input "Stand", response, "Ludo, however did not understand a word of that." Try again, input, "Stand up", response, "In this direction Ludo could not travel."

Surely if you're going to allow the player to sit you should also allow him to stand?

Your travelling companions may as well be cardboard cutouts for the companionship they offer; you can't even examine them.

As far as gameplay goes, there isn't any. The puzzles are totally contrived and the humour is very unfunny.

You seem to spend the whole game travelling from one side of your map to the other to perform one action then it's about turn and trudge back to the other side of the map.

The one thing I thought was OK in this adventure was the use of sound. Used in a very simple way, but very effectively indeed.

I didn't enjoy playing this adventure at all and can't find anything in its favour that would make me recommend it to anyone.

Label: CRL
Author: Keith Hughes (Penna Productions)
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

A good idea for a text and graphics adventure that just doesn't come off.

3/10