Players Software
Alex Williams
1986
Adventure: Text
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

52
John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

Good to see another decent budget adventure title. This time it's from Players and its been written using Incentive's Graphic Adventure Creator.

Matt Lucas, PI is set in Florida, the centre of the world's drugs trade. It's a tough place for a private investigator to eek out a living. Your partner, John Harpinger, has been kidnapped by a gang of dope peddlars and you've got to find him.

You're on good terms with the local cops. It's Davis, Cosby and Deringer and, if you can spot them, there are the clues the gang left behind, but your car's broken down by the side of the road and the city just don't look the same on foot.

From the breakdown site you have two choices. Either go south and walk along the gusty cliffs, looking down at the beach or head into town where you'll find you pal's pad and the downtown precinct. Harpinger's place is locked up so take a look at his desk down at police HQ. The game's detailed, swiftly drawn, picture of the desk shows a computer and two software packages by its side, neither of which are the blindest use.

In the drawer you'll find a hairpin - this mate of yours is pretty strange - and of course you know what to do with it. Go back to Harpinger's place, pick the lock with the hairpin and get the floppy disc he's hidden amongst his personal effects. Go back to the precinct, load the disc into the computer and a map of Florida's seedier dives is drawn on the screen.

From there on quality of the locales continues to dive - you get to go to some real dodgy dives. Most of the plot solutions rely on simple object transposition, such as finding and taking the hairpin to the flat, finding the disc and taking it back to the precinct.

The text parser is also a simple verb/noun affair, straight from the Graphic Adventure Creator which even makes a guest appearance at the precinct.

You get a lot for £1.99. This is one of the better Players efforts. The company hasn't been able to hit the Mastertronic standard of quality yet, but Matt Lucas marks a change for the better. Good quality low rent adventuring.

Label: Players
Author: Alex Williams
Price: £1.99
Reviewer: John Gilbert

*****

Simple graphic adventure with a reasonably inventive plot, full of gut grabbing suspense.

5/5