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Bamby Software
D.S. Kelly
Adventure: Graphic
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Derek Brewster
Chris Bourne

As Inspector Solvitt you are called in to investigate the murder of Lord Smedley, who is found dead in the master bedroom of Mystery Manor. Moving your user-defined character around the Cluedo-style map of the manor you gather clues but have limited time to find the murderer. Your score depends upon how quickly you can find the murderer and the weapon used.

There are only nine possible assassins and five weapons. A typical game would have you visit just three or four of the 13 rooms that comprise the house and it is often possible to guess the killer after just one room. In one game, You learn that Lord Smedley has used his influence on Prof. Hall to prevent his marrying' in the WC (where else?) and that 'The kinder boxes around the manor are empty due to a total absence of chopped logs' in the pool room. It is with genuine surprise you learn that your first accusation (Prof. Hall with an axe) is correct.

On playing the game for any length of time, clues and their solutions become very familiar. However, the fact that this game is far too easy is not its sole shortcoming.

The game makes use of the cursors keys - a poor choice, but not so critical as this is no fast-moving arcade game. Throughout the game you are pursued by the homicidal nut but it is so easy to escape his deathly clutches that in dull moments it is amusing to reverse roles and chase your assailant. If you tire of being told that you have just entered a room when it is patently clear that you've just left then you can forget about the entrances to the rooms altogether and simply walk through the walls.

Towards the end it is ridiculously easy to crash the game when making your accusations. If you can avoid falling out of the program then you can impress friends if you note that a p will always give you the correct murderer and w the correct weapon.

This game is unlikely to offer more than 15 minutes ' entertainment even to the most undemanding. The structure of its programming, the ineffective key response, poor sound and the all too obvious absence of methodical debugging conspire to produce software no better than most could achieve given a wet weekend.



Screenshot Text

With a serious absence of 'kinder' in the boxes, it's cold inside Mystery Manor.