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Dream Software Ltd
Chris Newcombe
Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Derek Brewster
Chris Bourne

The Quest for the Holy Grail may seem a familiar title. For one thing, it was the name of a Monty Python film which formed for itself a cult following. Normally thrifty and reserved persons would loose all poise and decorum and rush out to the nearest bookshop and buy the script to the film thereby causing the sort of arguments which raged throughout the land; who would play the geezer (John Cleese in the film) who says in a French accent (now thought essential in all TV comedies) 'I empty my nose in your general direction' or something to that effect. Now, I don't wish to be seen as a kill-joy, but this game leans rather heavily on the film and will now presumably sell more copies than when marketed by Dream Software (under which company's banner it was reviewed in the May 84 CRASH). So one must wonder at the legal implications after many a harmless Star Trek derivative was forced from the market by overbearing directives sent out by Paramount Pictures.

In a nutshell this game is a Hobbit look-alike. The differences lie in its speed (it is written in BASIC and seems unnecessarily slow by today's standards), its simpler graphics, and its lack of real time. As in The Hobbit it often takes a key depression to scroll up the location description before you can start to input. You begin in a blacksmith's forge where you are at once confronted with the humour which gives the game its distinctive flavour and cult following. 'You see the nuclear powered lamp. A CND picket. The yellow/green spotted key. The CND picket is sitting next to the lamp chanting, 'We shall, we shall not be moved!!' When you take the nuclear powered lamp the CND picket walks off in a huff.

Having said that this game looses out technically to The Hobbit it does in fact have many features to commend it. The use of the full gamut of Spectrum colours is noteworthy, both in pictures and borders and within the text. The problems, so often featured in adventure helplines, are really entertaining and funny, and, as is always the case with problems pitched at just the right level of difficulty, they give a real buzz when finally solved.

The Quest for the Holy Grail is an old program first marketed by Dream Software. It had a cult following in its old format due to its association with a very funny film and its own highly unusual and entertaining problems. What the game lacks in technical competence it compensates with super text and funny goings-on. Well worth the asking price.


Difficulty: easy
Graphics: average
Presentation: good
Input facility: basically verb/ noun
Response: slow
General Rating: Good value.