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

43
Kati Hamza
Chris Bourne

Beyond the lands of Midnight, the age of technology has caught up with the world of role playing and adventure. The magical crown of the old king Ludwig has become a much-coveted object in the battles for sales and software success. At present Ludo, owner of a small company and Ludwig's son, is in possession of the crown. He must prevent it from falling into the hands of the wicked Gloompork at all costs. Unscrupulous and proud, Gloompork is driven by an overwhelming desire to use the crown's power to become the ultimate software giant. Ludo and any followers he can recruit must gain the cooperation of other inhabitants of the land, before finally taking the crown north to the rower of Doom, and destroying it.

The world through which you pass hears all the characteristics of the parodied Beyond game, irreverently recreated. The graphics, with their bleak outlines of peaks and hills against even bleaker skylines, are almost indistinguishable from the originals. On-screen messages appear to inform you of the passage of time, and wolves, more indifferent than hostile, occasionally appear to stare piercingly into your eyes.

As a spoof it's very slick, but this slickness ultimately lets the game down. The scene is carefully set at the expense of the puzzles and replay. Travelling through the recognisable landscape is fun at first but interest soon wanes as it becomes clear there's little else to do. The parser is quite flexible and the phrase, 'Tell me about your problems' occasionally gleans interesting replies but could have been developed further. There is a RAMSAVE option and graphics can he switched off for extra speed.

All the elements of a competent game are there; unfortunately they don't quite gel into a good one.

CRITICISM

General Rating:

55%

Screenshot Text

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.