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Mastertronic Ltd
Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Tony Dillon
Chris Bourne

At first glance, Venom looks like one of those Infocom adventures. You know, the ones that print their vocabulary up in the corner alongside the graphics. Venom is one of those adventures in which you play the part of someone with a funny name that ends in a vowel who has travel across a land with another funny name that begins with a vowel with a friend who also has funny name that ends with a vowel. At the bottom of the screen is a window which contains the room descriptions which are short and clear, but don't really tell you much. Above that is a scrolling window which tells you all the interesting stuff like where the exits are or what you can see. And, above that are more two more windows. The graphics window and the word window. (I'll call it the word window because I'm too lazy and it's too late to keep typing the Vocabulary Window.) The graphics for the most part do give a good representation of where you are, and are clear and colourful. Up to this point, the adventure is wonderful.

The word window is where it all falls down. The game has a vocabulary of around 30 words, all accessible from the window via a joystick. No typing involved here. This may be a good idea for some 16-bit micros that can handle huge vocabularies, but for game like this, it's just a waste of space and makes the game amazingly easy,

Label: Mastertronic
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

A superficially attractive adventure with good design - but it lacks depth.