Treasure island is the new adventure from the pen of Jack Lockerby and, unusually for Jack, he's sought inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson's novel for his latest work. Will it measure up to his others?
Should anybody be unfamiliar with the book, the plot concerns a young lad called Jim Hawkins (that's the character you play) who gets into all sorts of bother with pirates, treasure, maps, parrots and the like. Your problems really begin when, due to your father's ill-health, you have to take over the running of the Admiral Benbow inn. The Benbow is the haunt of cut-throats, smugglers, thieves, vagabonds and pirates. One night, an old salty seadog by the name of Billy Bones comes to stay at the Admiral Benbow and asks you to keep a look-out for a dreaded one-legged seafarer.
Soon after, you're visited by two pirates, Black Dog and Blind Pew, neither of whom have a wooden leg. Billy Bones gets into a bit of a scuffle with these two undesirables and falls to the floor. You go over to take a look at him, he's clutching a black spot and he's very dead. But, what's a black spot? Only a piratical summons, that's what!
Now the game really begins with you trying to find out just why Billy Bones was issued with a black spot. As with most of Jack Lockerby's games, the initial problems are pretty easy and there are very few red herrings. Take, or at least make a note of, anything you discover.
Blind Pew and his smelly mates return to the inn to look for whatever it was that Billy had that they wanted. If you've done all the things that the instructions tell you to, then things should work out in your favour. You need to act fast as events seem to be timed quite critically. It took me at least a dozen times to get the timing of events right. (The RAMSAVE feature came in very handy, I can tell you!)
It's a two-part game and the object of Part One is to collect as many objects as possible and then board The Hispaniola which will take you to Treasure Island itself. Jack's added loads of extra problems, which makes the game more than just a straight adaptation from the book.
The second part seems to be more recognisably based on the book and, although it's not completely necessary, I think it's probably a good idea to read the book just for the hell of it. Part Two's also more object based and there's loads to do, see, collect and ponder over. There's also a fair bit of character interaction but it's all kept pretty simple. It'll be a while before you come close to finishing Part Two, as it's certainly harder than the first part. (Which is how things should be!)
Jack Lockerby has managed to keep the basic adventurous element of the book alive, while at the same time he's added his own brand of adventuring to the proceedings. The end result is another fine game!