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Mastertronic Ltd
Amoeba Software
Arcade: Adventure
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

An issue or two back we received no less than two letters from readers berating us for not having reviewed Voyage into the Unknown because it was an exciting adventure. So, here's the review. The very inadequate blurb on the inlay states that your basic objective is to take off from a desolated earth in a spaceship you have found (you don't know much about them) and search the universe for a special crystal which will destroy the Death Star. Movement of the spaceship is controlled by the cursor keys. Additionally you have an on-board laser, a personal laser for those little moments when you are not on board and a remote robot grab arm for when you teleport down to the surface of some planets. Beyond this, there are no instructions on play.

It isn't an adventure in the traditional sense. A graphic display shows you some details of your ship controls, fuel remaining, a scanner for shooting enemy ships, a message display which tells you what's around you. Some of the messages are totally incomprehensible. In keeping with telling you nothing at all, at the start of the game it is a mystery how to take off in the spaceship. It is included vaguely in the blurb, Engines, Power, Ignition - yes, that's E, P, I and away you go, on your quest for the special crystal.


'This game sounded quite good with a fairly straightforward idea behind it - just find the crystal, it said. I tried... I tried... and I tried. All I got was to be sucked into black holes and out through the other ends, landing on wierd planets where I couldn't do anything at all, fighting off enemy ships that appeared for a blink on the screen and then disappeared, killing me off in the process. Playability-wise, this game scores zero. You have no control really over the game. A total mess.'

'Can anyone tell me what a 'buke' is? Please, PLEASE, it's been driving me crazy for days. Please, Derek Brewster, can you help? I've heard of a rebuke, but a buke has me stumped. This game seems to be lull of silly jargon like Time Warp Chuck Out' which sound a bit like closing time at the local. It's also full of planets on which the player appears to be able to do nothing and go nowhere. I must say that I have never seen such an utterly stupid program before. Meanwhile, on my scanner, I can see another buke spinning round. Please - someone…'

'It seemed to me that a major part of the program was damaged on take off. Because unless I've missed the point entirely, I found Voyage into the Unknown to be exactly that - completely unknown. The actual playing area provided in this game is tiny, especially considering the 48K available. Perhaps that's what you get for £1.99, but really isn't good enough. In my opinion, this is a total waste of time and I wouldn't even both rating it.'

Control keys: Cursor, 0 to fire, Robot controlled with K, L and W, F fires personal laser
Joystick: cursor type
Keyboard play: if anything, over-responsive
Use of colour: poor
Graphics: very poor
Sound: there isn't any
Skill levels: 1
General Rating: A waste of money.


Screenshot Text

Beam up the buke, Scotty, and make sure you don't turn into a bile of buke.