At first sight Time Trax looks like Activision's Little Computer Person with its cut away view of a house, loo, bed, even dustbins, all in place... and somewhere the owner is wandering about.
Actually, you lurk more than wander and it's not a house, it's the latest in bomb shelters (all three floors of it!) and the bomb's just dropped.
Time Trax, notwithstanding its incredibly detailed graphics turns out to be awfully tedious. The game is controlled through a number of icons and scrolling windows where you can choose whether to Look, Take, Drop, Swap, etc. It all takes time and as it's best to start off with a weapon and ammo, you spend the whole of the first screen searching every piece of furniture for them. Yet there are so many places to look it quickly becomes irritating and repetitive.
The storyline is seemingly complex but basically what you've got to do is defeat evil and balance the world's equilibrium by returning to the Eight Minds their Character items - tiles. Various flickering baddies pursue you, hence the weapons. If you've got no protection, they tend to drain your energy and in a remarkably short time you'll die of sheer exhaustion.
Having armed yourself, you set off to find tiles and. by trial and error, present the right tile to the right Mind. In between there are spells and potions to find and use, the Guardian of the Runes to dodge and time zones to explore. There are seven zones in all taking you from 50,000BC to 21,000AD, and the graphics in each are nicely different.
All the while you must use the scrolling windows to Look for handy objects and Take them. There are also charms which Restore energy. Charm a character when trading articles. Open some objects and Banish others.
A lengthy booklet is enclosed with detailed descriptions of how to play. But once I'd read it I didn't feel much the wiser. And you won't solve the game quickly. I'd need heaps of patience, much more, I suspect, than I'll ever have.
Label: Mind Games
Author: Binary Design
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair, cursor
Reviewer: Clare Edgeley
Well programmed, with a complex plot. The action tends to the predictable and repetitive though.