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US Gold Ltd
Adventure: Graphic
ZX Spectrum 48K
Alkatraz Protection System

Other Links

Derek Brewster
Chris Bourne

Now if you think Oz is a rather down to earth character from an ITV comedy show, then this software is not aimed at you. No, it is aimed at a younger audience, who, enthralled by tales of the original (starring Greta Garbo… errr, that can't be right err... Elizabeth Taylor, well, someone incredibly famous) from their mums, rushed out to see the recent remake starring someone equally unforgettable. It all began with an Elton John album entitled 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' which was so good (not to mention long) that a chap who worked at Disneyland, called Walter, thought he'd base a film around the album. That's where Shirley Temple and Zena Ravioli (her stuntgirl) came in, child pawns pushed forward in the limelight totally unsuspecting the deeper meanings to the Bernie Taupin lyrics of the filmscores; hence its cult following. (Facts courteousy of the YTS information bureau).

Now, as I've said, this one is for the kids, which should be obvious to anyone who looks at the cover as it has KIDS! plastered all over it. Generally the program works very well for its intended audience, with the need for text input replaced by a menu bar accessed by pressing ENTER when the SPACE key has highlighted the option required. Slightly more clever is the way objects in the pictures can be highlighted with the SPACE key. The main options are LOOK, TALK, SEARCH, GET, LIST, and LEAVE.

LOOK is really very effective and gives the young varmint playing the game a full low down on what the SPACE key has highlighted right there up on the screen. For example the first screen only tells you that you are in the farm yard looking for Billina. But using LOOK we see that this scene has much to offer and teach us. There is Aunt Em, some good white hens which lay their eggs every day, and (after SEARCHing the wooden coop) Billina, which is a beautiful golden coloured hen, which hasn't laid an egg for ages. If she can't provide the eggs for breakfast then she'll end up providing the meat for supper. (And this is where Colonel Saunders, head of the US Allied forces, got his idea for naming his fast foods, after the state where Dorothy in the film loses her marbles YTS Info Service).

TALK is another useful command where you can while away many happy moments conversing (with various degrees of success) with the various straw-headed flower pots you get in these kind of stories and thereby learn much about your quest and the routes you should follow (sadly, the Yellow Brick Road, like a present day Ml has long ago cracked up and you'll soon meet diversion signs). LIST leads onto the sub-options of DROP and USE.

I have one major complaint to level at this program so let's get it over with here: some of the printing is bugged with print split at line ends and some lines begin with full stops. Now if you consider the age group this game is aimed at these errors take on quite some significance.

Anyway, let's finish this one with the official version of the story, to rubbish all that disinformation from the YTS Info Service.

You find it difficult to sleep. All you can think about is Oz. The wonderful world of Oz. The Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow. All your friends from magical Oz. where anything can happen if you want it badly enough. 'Oh, why did I wear the magic Ruby Slippers and wish to be home in Kansas?', you think quietly to yourself. If only you could find those slippers and wish yourself back to Oz. But every day, the same, you search in vain. 'Kansas', you say to yourself. It's not quite as exciting here on the farm as it was in Oz. You can't even mention the word 'Oz' without making your Aunt Em and Uncle Henry upset and angry. But something is wrong in Oz. You know it. Today is going to be different, though, you are going to find a way to Return to Oz.

Don't know about you, but I preferred the YTS Info Service version.


Difficulty: not all child's play
Graphics: attractive
Presentation: very good
Input facility: menu system
Response: fast
General Rating: Very competent.


Screenshot Text

Aunt Em who looks after Cameron when he plays RETURN TO OZ. Aaah!