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Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 128 +3

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Mike Gerrard
Chris Bourne

The day started well. That Scott Electronics deal you handled had done brilliantly, according to your boss, David Rogers, and he'd offered you a partnership in his broking firm, Rogers & Rogers. That means you get a new office, a new secretary and a BMW. It's nice in the morning, your first day as a partner and David welcomes you and shows you to the new office. Mind you, it looks a lot Like the old office - the same chair and filing cabinet, the same desk, and still no phone. A yuppie without a phone? That's like a fish without chips.

Nothing your lack of enthusiasm, David tells you the firm will be moving to new offices soon anyway and asks you to take a list of early bookings to the dealing room at the end of the corridor. If you follow him out through your secretary's office, though, you hear him tell her that he'll see her later, and he says that he'll need her signature on a cheque. A secretary co-signing a cheque? Strange, you might think, but that's not the only strange thing you're going to find as you wander round the offices this morning.

Down in David's secretary's office there's a perfumed letter on top of the shredding machine, although his secretary won't allow you near it. 'It's really easy to lose a finger in them fings,' she tells you. But nature takes its course and you get your hands on the letter and read it. 'Dear Ticklepot. Just a short note as Derek will be home soon. I can't wait to see you again. Last time was fantastic. Ring me on Monday after Derek gets there. Love and stuff, Jenny XXX.' Now there's something not quite right about this. What is it? And isn't that handwriting vaguely familiar? Of course! You're Derek, and Jenny's your wife!! In which case, who the hell is Ticklepot?? The fact that the letter's on the shredding machine right outside the door to David Rogers' office might be a teensy weensy clue.

Perhaps there's another clue contained on the cassette tape that's in David's desk... that is, once you've found out how to get through the locked door, whch yet again his secretary is anxious to prevent you from doing. Play the tape on the stereo in your new BMW and you find out that one side contains a recording of the meeting you had with David to discuss your promotion, as far as you remember it, while on the other side is the same meeting - but definitely not as you remember it! So what's going on?

The cassette tape comes as part of the packaging, and Corruption is, as you're no doubt aware, the latest adventure from Magnetic Scrolls. And a very different kettle of adventurous fish it is, too. No Kerovnian capers here, but instead a tale of deadly intrigue set in the fast-paced yuppie world of London's commodity and currency dealers. Don't bother looking for treasure, you've already got that if the BMW is anything to go by, but watch out you don't get stabbed in the back as you get involved in the corruption that's going on somewhere - and you may even get blamed for it all! Some kind of white powder could be involved, but you'll only find that out if you go to the toilet at the right time!

In fact being in the right place at the right time is an important factor in this game, as is asking the various office employees about each other. I tend not to like this style of adventure, and I admit that my copy of Corruption was lying around for a few days before I even loaded it up. But once I had done I soon got into it and found it enjoyable, and of course done with the professionalism we've come to expect from Magnetic Scrolls. By keeping an eye on some of the characters, or by staying in the same location for a while and seeing what goes on, you can start to piece together bits of information. Not that you'll be pleased to hear all of it! The information from the letter that you find on the shredder will be confirmed for you if you have lunch with your wife, for example. And there are several different sticky ends in store too.

The FOLLOW command comes in useful, as you can tag along one step behind a particular character by continually pressing ENTER, and watch what they get up to, but you can interrupt this at any time by typing any other command. You can WAIT UNTIL a specified time to speed up the action in a particular place, and although you're told to use the AGAIN command to repeat your last input its much easier to press the EDIT key once as that also repeats the input. Just press ENTER instead of editing it, that's all. The 'B' side of the disk comes in handy for saved games, of which you'll need plenty, and a useful tip is not only to mark the place where you saved but the time of day, too.

The parsers a bit tedious in places. PUT BAG IN BRIEFCASE. "But the briefcase is closed," that kind of thing. And when you're carrying the right key to unlock a door, UNLOCK DOOR is greeted by "What with?" It also takes you ages to unlock the door of your own car, as you fiddle around getting the key out of your pocket, and of course once the door's unlocked it's still got to be opened, and then when you open it and type IN the parser tells you there's nothing here to go inside, and you have to type ENTER CAR. All this does rather slow down what's described as "a fast-paced thriller.!"

There's the typical Rainbird glossy packaging, with extra bits and pieces in the box, including some amusing inserts for your own personal organiser. All in all, I enjoyed Corruption far more than I thought I would... but not quite as much as the previous Magnetic Scrolls games. Maybe I'm just more of a wrinklie than a yuppie when it comes to adventure games.