PICTURE PUZZLE FOR SLEUTHS
DEVOTEES of murder mysteries might like to try their deductive skills on Murder at the Manor, a graphics adventure for the 48K Spectrum. The local squire has been murdered by a thief in search of the squire's hoard of gold coins. Making good his escape, the murderer has scattered about the countryside pieces of a page containing the combination number of the squire's safe which still contains a vital clue. It is your job to find the combination, the clue and the identity of the murderer.
The search starts at the town cross, from which paths lead to various shops, the police station, the car park, the church or the open countryside - beware of the sheep. As you reach each location, a picture of it unfolds and a compass in the corner of the screen shows which way you can go.
Walking about or fighting with any of the characters you encounter will sap your strength and eating any food you are lucky enough to find will restore it. If you run out of strength before you have solved the mystery, you lose the game.
At any stage you can check your score, the clues you hold and your strength level.
The computer understands a comprehensive range of commands in this ingenious adventure and the graphics are attractive but a major fault is that the relationship between the various locations is not always consistent, so that however carefully you keep track of your movements, you may find yourself returning to the same spot repeatedly. The time at takes for each picture to appear also slows the game.
Murder at the Manor is available from Gemtime, 16 Ben Ledi Road, Kirkcaldy, Fife, and costs £6.95.