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CRL Group PLC
1986
Adventure: Text
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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80
Mike Gerrard
Chris Bourne

Even the loading screen on this one is that bit different! Yes, there you are outside the familiar brick building, with a small stream flowing out and down the gulley. Yes, there's the door, so let's open the door and go in. What's this? The door won't open? Curses on you, you belle's of St Brides. How inconvenient. Oh well, down the gulley and there's something useful on the floor - unfortunately it's guarded by a bull, and a rather stroppy one at that. But seasoned adventurers won't be bullied for long, and with the object in your grasp you may be able to enter the building alter all.

Once inside you discover it's a welly-house, and to prove it there are the wellies, along with a log, a fence, a spring and a bomb. What, no lamp, food, keys or bottle? Never mind, out you go, and with a great deal of effort the missing ingredients turn up in the very secret hiding place. Back down the gulley - good grief, the bull's back.

Onwards and downwards, through the grate and into the tunnels, and here are all the familiar sights - yes, there's the debris room, there's the gilded cage, there's the bird, and there's the ginger-bearded figure throwing something at you. What? Let me examine the cage... looks inviting, I'm told. Okay, I'm game for anything. ENTER CAGE. Drat, I appear to be locked in. After five minutes my language becomes distinctly worse than 'Drat,' but at least it got me out of the cage via the swear box. Down I go to the vast hall, and east to... now hang on, this is getting extremely silly. I mean to say, a text-only version of space invaders? Come on, what is going on here. Zapped again and again, my only resort is the swear box and I've still only scored two shillings and fourpence three-far- things. No, wait a mo', after killing the snake here are some silver bars, so it's back via a magic word to the welly-house where my score increased by £10,000. Yip- pee! And back again by magic through the Habitat room and the twee room and more goodies, and what now, a dirty crack to the east. Alright, I'll fall for it... what's that? It'll cost me a treasure? Okay, in for a penny, in for a pound...

And this is only Part One I've been talking about. On the other side of the tape is Part Two, Moron's Quest, which you can begin provided you have a saved game position from Part One to load in; and this allows you to transport objects between the two sections, this second one beginning in the welly-house. Not that this helped me much as by the time I got there my food was battered, my keys were useless and the method of getting out of the house no longer worked.

Anyway, let's be sensible for a moment and say this marvellous game shows hardly any of its Quill origins, and though the graphics are a little repetitive (some of those caverns look remarkably similar!). Once you're scooting around in the game you can switch them off or back on using the TEXT and GRAPHICS commands, and there's also the handy RAMSAVE feature.

If you've played Colossal Cave and have any sense of humour at all then you'll love this. And if you haven't played the original... well, you'll love it anyway. Buy it!

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