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Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Derek Brewster
Chris Bourne

See-Kaa of Assiah comes from Mastervision, famous for their takeover of the Wrath of Magra project and its subsequent marketing. I didn't think Wrath of Magra was a game which was developed to its full commercial potential, but alas Se-Kaa of Assiah has even less to offer the prospective purchaser. In fact it is so run-of-the-mill, and with so little creative invention, one wonders when Mastervision will stop floundering among the dead men and begin to realise that only quality will succeed in today's marketplace. Unlike music sales, software sales are not governed so much by taste - there is a definite good and a definite bad, despite what some magazines might lead us to believe.

When the Wise Ones ruled the land, produce was plentiful and the people happy. But then came the Dark Hordes, a mutated race of evil beings who wreaked havoc and destruction throughout the realm and stole the Great Artefacts of the Wise Ones.

These were the Rod of Light, the Hammer of Vib-ra and the Casket of Vib-ra. Your quest is twofold: first you must endeavour to find the whereabouts of the Great Artefacts which have been hidden within the grim Castle of the Dead in the lands of Assiah; second, you must escape from the castle and locate the resting places of the Artefacts so that you can return them. Once the Artefacts are in their rightful place, the Wise Ones regain their lost powers and can defeat the Dark Hordes, restoring peace and contentment to the land. Access to the second part of the adventure is conditional upon successful completion of the first section.

The game accepts full English sentences such as TAKE THE CASKET OF VIB-RA, and multiple commands are allowed using AND, so GET THE CASKET OF VIB-RA AND GO NORTH is accepted. Some special commands are TAKE ALL or GET ALL, and DROP ALL. There is a pause option and you can repeat your last command. The two 48K programs have over 170 illustrated locations.

So far, so good - so what's wrong?

The first major irritation is the input routine. An input routine is as fundamental to an adventure as graphics are to an arcade game. The routine used in this case repeats a key amazingly quickly, so it is almost beyond the fidelity of a rubber keyboard to get an error-free input, even if it is a single character - in tests, nine out often 'Es (for EAST) came up as 'EE'. The locations suffer from feeble descriptions and the graphics, far from making up for this shortfall, are often uninteresting and of poor design.

There aren't many problems, and those that can be found are illogical and their solutions arbitrary. After wandering for hours I finally found a way to kill the Guardian, only to find that no gain had been made, no new avenues to explore and no new objects - just one Guardian down.

Although two programs for £3.99 appears good value, I felt this package lacked any addictive quality. The first game largely consists of one long maze. It is not a game I will be returning to; 'nough said?


Difficulty: rather difficult, owing to lack of logic
Graphics: on all locations; unfortunately they replace text
Presentation: rather poor
Input Facility: awful auto repeat
Response: touch slow
Special Features: played in real time
General Rating: Lacks addictive quality.