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Silversoft Ltd
Not Known
1985
Arcade: Maze
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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116
Chris Bourne

Having just been careless enough to loose their Crown of Eternity, the battle weary English are now looking for a hero, to recover the crown from the impenetrable vault in which it has been locked. You play the role of Talos, the battle robot. However, even after Talos has been found the English have still got to find the rest of him. Confused? then read on.

At the moment Talos is nothing more than a gleaming brass hand that was once part of an equally gleaming battle robot that had a very bad day and ended up scattered across the countryside. To be exact, poor old Talos has been broken into seven pieces which are spread over an area of some 200 screens. You are the hand and must go forth and find the rest of most entertaining bits is watching the little man come you, so you can become great again and strut your stuff on the crown rescuing front. It's important that you find the bits in the correct order after all there's little point in finding a leg unless you have a body to hang it from.

Once Talos is complete the next task is to find and enter the vault. Recover the Crown and who knows... perhaps you will get a good rub down with Brasso from the grateful citizens.

Of course, there are a number of complications that make the rebuilding task onerous. First, most of the natural wildlife has a pretty bad effect on Tabs, draining his energy which is measured by the shrinking candle on the right of the screen. Some energy is gained by picking up certain types of objects the money bags always seem to do Talos a power of good. Most of the time he is able to avoid the wildlife or fend it off by liberal use of electric charges. The bull is a little bit more of a problem: that's immune to Talos' defence system so the best advice is stay well clear.

During your tour round the maze you will come across a wide variety of other hazards, not least being the pools. More often that not a bit of Talos can be found at the bottom of some deep pool and, since a brass hand isn't exactly cut out for swimming, you'll have to find a way of getting the bits out. Should you find a bit that you can't actually fit to the body, never fear, you can drop a magnet at the place and a compass underneath the candle will help guide you back to the spot when the time is right.

About half of the maze is barred by a series of white gates. The gates remain in place, and the secrets that lie behind them stay hidden until Talos finds and recovers a white pearl. When all the gates are open you can fully expect to be given the opportunity to behave like the hero you are expected to be... and maybe you'll get that rubdown as a reward!

CRITICISM

'I found this to be a very annoying game, mostly because it is so hard to stay alive for a reasonable period of time. The graphics and sound are so Silversoft it's uncanny. Without a doubt this is a very straightforward maze game, and so long as you keep your wits about you, you shouldn't find it too difficult. Having said that, there are some pleasant surprises in store for the player, although it's really just a matter of patience and stamina'

'Talos is a sort of maze game. To be honest, I really find it hard to say much more than that. I liked the way the various forms of wildlife appeared from the blue, and, graphically there are some rather pleasing effects. The worms are great. The ponds are really strange and very well done - in many respects they are the best part of the game. Even though making progress in the maze is determined to some extent by the objects you manage to pick up (the white pearl which gets you past the white gates is a prime example) the game isn't that complicated. This is far from a maze adventure but nevertheless it poses quite a stiff challenge'

'This game manages to incorporate some fairly good ideas, like the magnets, but there is still a lot missing. The graphics are quite well done and nearly always entertaining, but neither feature justifies the very high price tag the game has been given. However, I did have quite a lot of fun playing Taos so I feel safe in declaring it to be above average'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Z/X left/right, KIM up down; P to fire and A to drop magnet.
Joystick: cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: good
Graphics: average
Sound: nothing special
Skill levels: one
Lives: initially three, more lives can be awarded
Screens: 200
General Rating: Not a very exciting development.

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