Mindfighter as a book was written by Anna Popkess during late 1986 and early 1987. The adventure has been programmed by Fergus McNeil on a new adventure writing system S.W.A.N. (System Without A Name) which was developed by Tim Gilberts, Graeme Yeandle and Hugh Hamer-Powell.
The package consists of a cassette, paperback novel, poster and a players' guide.
You must read the book to get some idea of the game world you will be entering, as the players' guide does not really give you much idea of your aim in the adventure.
Robin is an eleven year old boy gifted with psychic powers who has woken up on a heap of rubble in the middle of a desolate ruined city. Somehow he has arrived in the future after the big bang, and must find a way to return to his own time.
All around you will see the effects of radiation on the people. Mobs have formed and the whole place is crawling with System Guards, and has become a sort of police state. The penalty for most crimes is death.
Along the way you will meet a variety of characters; some of them will be friendly but others you will have to fight with whatever weapon you have to hand.
There are some gory pieces of text in the adventure but I felt they were needed to convey the harshness of life under the rule of The System guards.
Some special commands that the game recognises can either be typed in, or you can access an icon screen by pressing 'ENTER'. You can save to or load from disc, tape or RAM - I couldn't manage to get a save to tape to load back, out this may be due to a problem with my cassette recorder!
Other commands include "script/unscript" for those of you with printers who want to keep a permanent record of your progress through the game. You can also choose to play the game in verbose or brief mode. Verbose gives you the long room description of each location and brief gives the short one line description to allow you to move about the game at a much faster pace. I found the icon screen awkward to use and preferred to use text where possible.
Mapping the adventure is not an easy task as you can enter a location by typing 'EAST' but if you type 'EAST again you find that you've gone West. I can't see any reason for doing this. It is very annoying and time wasting.
If you persevere with the mapping however you can then start to play the adventure. Examining everything is a must, but beware as EXAM' is not recognised and could be misleading; you need to type EXAMI'.
You tend to get 'killed' frequently, another pet hate of mine, but once I started to play the game and made some progress I found that I was beginning to get hooked.
On the whole I think the storyline is good and the adventure seems to have captured the atmosphere very well. If you are into parapsychology and concerned about the possible effects of a nuclear war then you will undoubtedly find something in this adventure that will grab your interest and keep you playing.
Author: Abstract Concepts
Reviewer: Sandra Sharkey
An intriguing storyline. May send shivers down your spine!