Mike Westlake
1988
Arcade: Adventure
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Firebird BleepLoad

35
Chris Jenkins
Chris Bourne

While Merlin is a dead standard multi-screen jumping-and-ducking effort, for £1 99 it's worth getting just for the novelty of the giant-sized graphics.

Guiding Merlin the wizard around the magic Castle Camelot is made difficult by the hordes of brain-sucking starfish, enchanted books, wiggling ghosts and wriggly snakes. A disintegrating cross indicated your falling life-force as you collide with the nasties, and all you can do is jump over them or duck under them, no mean feat since the Merlin figure is one of the biggest sprites I've ever seen! The backgrounds are beautifully detailed, with suits of armour, bookcases, stairways, battlements and cellars depicted in painstaking detail. The colours are great too, but this unfortunately leads to lots of attribute clash when Merlin walks past the larger objects.

Since you don't have to do anything with the stars, and you can't shoot the nasties, the charm of the game might pall fairly quickly; but it looks pretty, and I suppose that's as good a reason as any for forking out your £1.99

Label: Firebird
Author: Mike Westlake
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

Stunningly pretty arcade adventure, worth seeking out just to see the giant spiders.

6/10