Electric Software
Not Known
1984
Adventure: Text
£4.50
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

92
Chris Bourne

Electric Software dub themselves 'The People's Company' and aim to produce games at prices people can afford. In fact this particular adventure was intended to be on sale at the amazing price of ?2.99, but sadly the cost of packaging had been underestimated, which resulted in the rise. Nevertheless, at under £5 it does represent good value.

The scenario is that you are the Master of the Mystic Arts and the computer is your local disciple Zemlya. The Oracle Orb of Andorra has warned of twin demons of Fire and ice released by the Nameless Ones to lay waste the Earth. As the Master, you aren't going anywhere of course, poor old loyal Zemlya has to do the dirty work while you watch on with your almost all-seeing eye.

This is the only instruction as to the object of the adventure, much has to worked out by the player. A brief instruction page on screen informs of the usual adventure words which may be used and warns you to experiment. It also suggests you SAVE the game every few steps as this only takes a few seconds and saves you the bother of starting off from the beginning every time you lose your life (or Zemlya's).

The game starts in the Master's chambers of meditation and there are no visible exits. Also present is the Oracle Orb of Andorra. The first problem to overcome is getting out of the chambers, and suffice to say that there are actually two directions and the method is very simple but not so obvious. Once you have solved this one, the answer to it will provide a guide to many other problems later on.

The game is largely text orientated, but there are also graphics of a simple nature to enliven the already busy proceedings.

CRITICISM

'Once you get out of the chambers of meditation the adventure really begins and takes you to various locations in the immediate vicinity of where you started. Stonehenge is just down the road, there's a mine, a dark and gloomy forest, a dark pit and the edge of the lake across which you can see the towers of Kush. It is into these towers you must go to get any further, but you can't swim and you never learned to fly. The computer's replies are humorous and often whining with self pity, especially when you force it to enter dark mines and pits. Usually its sense of self-preservation should be taken to heart! So the responses are not only witty, but usually carry a hidden meaning as well. Never learned to fly, eh? Coming across a cloak of levitation might be useful, and, indeed, there is one - at least, there is if you can find out how to reach the location where it is hidden. Fire and Ice has you running around in circles to gather objects, drop them in favour of others, come back for them again until you gain entrance to the towers, where more serious info is imparted, and then the game takes on a new angle. You are presented with a complex spatial/ mathematical puzzle to solve - that's where I'm still stuck! But so far the indications are that the puzzle will be worth the solving.'

'Although you are not told the objectives of the adventure there is a lot to keep you occupied. I cottoned on quite quickly that the computer tells you one thing when sometimes it means the opposite. There are some very simple block graphics, but they are not needed. The program is 100% machine code, so the responses are instantaneous, so you can move about very quickly from location to location. The descriptions are not always very detailed, but the computer's responses make up for most of that. I thought this was a tough game that managed to be quite addictive.'

COMMENTS
Response: fast
Graphics: clear text, some simple graphics instantly generated
General Rating: An imaginative adventure with some unique problems to solve and with plenty of scope in the defined area. Good value.

78%
58%
84%
69%
86%
89%
77%

Screenshot Text

The World shall die by Fire and ice - so save it.