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Robert J. Burgess
Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Richard Price
Chris Bourne


Cutting his way through the dense, dark adventure forests Richard Price finds that the terror of the temple is only a cheap thrill.

IN THE steaming depths of some remote tropical rain-forest, Archie the Adventurer is on a desperate mission.

Daughter Jane, it seems, is at death's door, suffering from an unnamed incurable disease. Standard medicine offers no hope of a recovery.

This depressing news has persuaded Archie to don his backpack and shorts and brave the jungles in search of a newly-discovered temple. Rumour has it that a fabled elixir of health is secreted in the temple's innermost depths. Others have already tried to unravel the mystery of the temple but, ominously, have never been heard of again.

So off goes our Archie and, at the beginning of Temple Terror from Atlantis, finds himself sweltering in the blazing sun at the entrance to the rearing bulk of the crumbling edifice. The heart-rending plot conceals a game which is really a straightforward exploration of the temple.

There are only three locations outside the temple and you will quickly discover that the sacred spot has already suffered at the barbarian hands of football supporters - some enigmatic graffiti produce the unlikely message 'Northampton for the Cup'.

The temple is entered easily enough by way of a moveable rock and you will soon find a light source and the mouldering remains of the other unfortunate explorers. Amongst their effects are handy items, like matches. There's a scroll with a useful message and, lo and behold, the only room with a carpet has a trapdoor beneath it to take you further into the building. There's a fire that blocks your way and a vampire to chill your bones.

After you've overcome your excitement you can then solve a monstrously simple code to enter the Elixir Room, indulge in a bit more jiggery-pokery to beat a forcefield and find a way out before the temple collapses.

Input is standard verb/noun and the action is text-only. There are the usual Save/Load facilities, a couple of abbreviations like T for Take and a reasonable response rate. There isn't really any need for much sophistication in the machinery as the game is so simple and direct. The descriptions are mainly two-liners.

The game is written entirely in Basic, and the action is very linear with one problem succeeding another in quick succession. The puzzles are not at all original and seem to own much to early Artic games - what would you do with a blanket when a fire blocks your way?

There are also not many locations, about 40 on my count. This does not make for a mind-bogglingly complex adventure if you're an experienced traveller through mysterious temples. On the other hand, if you're new to adventures and want to break yourself in gently and cheaply, the game is pleasant enough. Definitely for the novice, but the price bumps up the rating.

Richard Price

Publisher: Atlantis
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K