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Mastervision
1986
Adventure: Text
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

69
Mike Gerrard
Chris Bourne

It's a rare occasion indeed when a review copy of a Mastertronic game comes into the office, so despite the fact that this has been out for a short while now, it's too good an opportunity to miss. It's also not a bad little adventure, in two parts and complete with pleasant graphics that are dealt with in an interesting way. The graphics area of the screen is split into three, with two permanent displays either side and a centre one that changes as you move about. If you decide that you don't want the graphics, you can switch them off by pressing the '1' key.

You begin in pretty dire straits, though instead of doing The Walk Of Life you've got to swim for your life as the tentacled monster that's just bashed into your ship is about to do the same to you, Sinbad, and that's going to be distinctly worse for you than it was for the ship. If you make it to the ship, which is the Golden Ship of the title and on which you've been a crew member, then a quick look below decks shows you have a severe case of rising damp. Can you explore the ship and find anything useful before... well, as the saying goes, WHAT NOW? You don't even know what the adventure's about. Ah, but is that an island we see from the crow's nest? Of course it is, but how to get there. The monster's still over the side, and while I thought tentacles were supposed to shrink in cold water, this doesn't seem to be the case here.

Never mind, you can make it to the island for another exploration and... yes, it's our old friend the lamp you eventually find. And the axe, my goodness, not to mention a skeleton, a bar, a cage and a wizard. How nice to meet you all again. But despite the familiarity of the objects, I found this adventure an enjoyable one to play. You know how some games can be simple but boring, and others simple yet you still enjoy them? This was definitely the latter, though it would have been more enjoyable with a slightly wider vocabulary. If you want to go overboard from your sinking ship and you try to JUMP, you're told that you can't do it from there, so you get the impression there must be another place to try it, whereas it's the command that's the problem as you should DIVE.

Slightly different is the use of SEARCH, which shows you the obvious objects in a location, and EXAMINE, which tells you more about them and occasionally uncovers hidden items. All in all a very pleasant romp, more suited to beginners, but at that price the old adventurous hands shouldn't complain either. Worth seeking out at your local Mastertronic emporium.

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