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E. Graham
1984
Adventure: Text
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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92,93
Derek Brewster
Chris Bourne

Here we have Quilled games dating way back to 1984. Both look very much dated products (although only one, Operation Turtle, is actually dated) with unimaginative and uninteresting storylines and the kind of flat-footedness which leaves you wondering when it will end.

Commandos story goes like this. You belong to an elite Commando unit, but you have been given a mission that entails you working alone in enemy territory. You have to find a list of enemy agents and return with it, so the agents can be apprehended.

You begin in a submerged submarine where you can see a button, a gun, gauges and little else for now at least, since you can explore no more of the submarine. Since examining the gauges brings up 'I see nothing special' (as does examining just about everything) there seems nothing left to do but press the button, which seems to do the trick. Doing this leads you onto a dinghy which, after much exploring of the local waters and cliffs leads you on to the beach. Commando is a game with short location descriptions which is so uncooperative it may leave you short of patience.

Operation Turtle starts with quite a weeze even before it's fully loaded. The common Double Play loading screen is replaced with the one for Operation Turtle and immediately wiped off once you've waited for the screen to load. The fact that the loading screen is poor (and simply the attributes of the first screen) is neither here nor there after waiting for so long to see the screen it would have been courteous to at least give the player some time to see it. The eventual screen left for loading simply has 'Opertation Turtle' written on it. So much for amateurishness and let's look at the story line.

It is October 1943. You have been briefed by British Intelligence using recent reports from units of the French Resistance. These communiques suggest the Germans are to develop a secret weapon that could eventually lead to the invasion of Britain. Although the region in which the research is taking place is known few other details have as yet filtered through. As the adventure begins you, as a top British agent, are gently floating down behind enemy lines in occupied France with orders to discover the exact whereabouts of the enemy's most lethal weapon and to report back with the vital information. Within minutes you have landed safely in a small field surrounded by trees in the first frame of the game. Unfortunately, the accompanying parachute carrying your radio failed to open and the radio therefore lies some miles away and is no doubt destroyed in any case. Your orders are to contact the resistance movement as quickly as possible. The contact arranged to meet you will respond to the phrases 'October winds blow from the east' and 'In Paris the winds blow from the south'.

Operation Turtle plays in a very predictably manner. After wandering around for a few locations, characterised by your inability to do or examine anything, you are surrounded by Germans with fierce snarling hounds. This leads to 'You are in a white room furnished only with a single bed. The door is of heavy steel and a panel of buttons indicates that it is electronically operated.' Now I'm not saying the Germans didn't have electronically operated doors in occupied France. What I am saying is that it seems very unlikely. Once again we have a game written way back in 1984.

CRITICISM

COMMENTS
Difficulty: difficult
Graphics: none
Presentation: poor
Input facility: verb/noun
General Rating: Hackneyed and showing its age.

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