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Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Derek Brewster
Chris Bourne

Let's say straight away that I liked this one. It's the second release from INCEN1WE'S MEDALLION label, and deals with a theme which should be familiar - even to those who aren't off on one of those Easter skiing expeditions. The program is well-proportioned and nicely balanced, both in terns of story and difficulty.

You begin, standing by your crashed Cessna light aircraft in the snow-covered Himalayas, but how did you get there? That's a long story.

Having studied and practised anthropology (bothering people, to you) for over ten years, you had all but given up on your dreams of making some great discovery that would put your name in the anthropology books. That is, until you received a Telex from your Russian Archeologist friend, Sergb Kirov, currently working in Tibet. His message related his discovery of a civilisation as advanced as Mankind, yet totally independent of it. Sergio requests you leave for Tibet immediately, to give the kind of advice which has given you the title of the man who takes the apology out of anthropology.

Sergio is nowhere to be found when you land at Lhasa airport, but one of the locals tells you that he left a message requesting you to meet him at the dig site. Although the airstrip was on the lower slopes of the Himalayas it was relatively accessible and you were thought a competent pilot. You hired a run-down but functioning Cessna and crash-landed right into the first location. Just before you baled out, you could have sworn you saw the glint of sunlight on a glass building - but surely not out here in the middle of nowhere?

If all goes well, you should negotiate the ferocious bear, having previously equipped yourself for the conditions by picking up the fur coat and snowshoes from the Cessna. Picking up the coat has you wearing it, which is just as well, as the program does not understand the verb WEAR. An unlucky pot-holer sees your next advance; you profit from the fact he's as stiff as a plank and won't be needing his equipment, which is precious to you in your predicament. Following things through in a fairly simple manner you will come upon a small round ice cave where a frozen waterfall hangs down from the ceiling, and a ledge hangs high up on the east wall. Here lies one of my few moans about this game; the program does not comprehend THROW ROPE but accepts CLIMB ROPE - without you first throwing it or otherwise tethering it to something. I don't know about you, but to me this somehow doesn't feel right. However, such inconsistencies are rare, and on the whole the program is reasonably intelligent - and sometimes quite innovative, as with the icicle which melts on entering the warm environs of the hotel.

Winter Wonderland is in the same sort of ballpark as Apache Gold when it comes to difficulty of play; both games are popularist and will appeal to beginner and devotee alike. In the entertainment stakes, again, there is not much between the games - it really depends upon which theme appeals the most. Winter Wonderlands location descriptions are never particularly long, but they are always well-constructed, imaginative pieces with clues as to how you might proceed. A good example of what INCENTIVE's Graphic Adventure Creator can do.


Difficulty: not difficult
Graphics: quite good in places
Presentation: alright
Input facility: includes AND, THEN and IT
Response: fast
General Rating: A well written, interesting story.