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Digital Fantasia
Brian Howarth
Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

The Time Machine is one of Digital Fantasia's series of adventures which use text and graphics to neat effect. You are a local reporter in this one, finally getting to grips with a truly challenging assignment - strange goings on have been reported from the fog-shrouded moors. A Dr Potter has recently purchased a lonely house out there, and since then strange lights and sights have been seen by locals round the eccentric scientist's abode. All this causes a lot of concern, and you are sent to explore the situation for the local gazette. The quest starts with you stumbling around in the fog. If you manage to come across the house in question, you are led into an intricate search through a handful of time layers to find the missing - but that would give the game away.


'All in all a very entertaining adventure for both novice and experienced adventurer alike, because if you're new to this sort of game Digital Fantasia helpfully offer you the option of sending for advice sheets which provide just enough clues to the various stages of the plot to see any thinking greenhorn on his or her way. So there's much less chance of 28 CRASH May 1984 your getting inextricably stuck in the early stages and giving up altogether, as with so many other adventure games.'

'What's good about this game, as with others by the same company, is that you have the option of switching between text only and graphics included mode at the press of the ENTER key. This avoids the waiting time for the pictures to form (which they do quite quickly) should you be impatient to get on. Descriptions are short and to the point. Computer response time is fast and jolly, creating a nice relationship between player and machine. There is plenty to do on this quest if you succeed in getting out of the fog at the beginning.'

'Time Machine lives up to its expectations beautifully from the stylish graphic scene setters to the snappy text. A great plot with a real sense of purpose which involves getting useful objects from one time zone which may well be needed in another. This makes for different stages of success until the final denouement and it all adds up to a high addictivity rating. H.G. Wells would have loved it, despite the slightly high price.'

Response: fast
Graphics: optional, but well drawn and reasonably detailed
General Rating: Very good although high in price.