Jasper Sharp
Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

Derek Brewster
Chris Bourne

With a name like Celerysoft these guys must have a sense of humour (they even enclosed a menu for celery au gratin which begins with the celery being boiled in a little salted water for 20-30 minutes).

The F19 scout ship hangs limply in orbit over the planet Krepton on its mission to detect life on the barren surface (see what I mean, gave me a fit of the giggles, I can tell you). Yesterday all communications with the ship ceased and you are 'injected' into the back of the ship to find out what's up. You must return to the Inter-Galactic Control Base with the case solved. And why must you do these things? Because you are none other than the great SPACE DETECTIVE, that's why.

The crew onboard consists of Tobor Xod, captain of the F19, Astrid Tam, scientist, Ojo Ojomoh, engineer, and Klepton Kyle, medical officer.

The game makes use of the Quill, Illustratorand Patch and it is The Patch's sound effect (the one of the train) that is encountered in the engine room NE and NW of the start location.

You begin at the rear end of the ship where a small light shines on the rear airlock. The picture above the text rather neatly depicts the scene and there's even some flashing indicator lights to liven things up a bit. To the north, along a gleaming white connecting corridor, is the dining room which has a large table, four chairs, and a food dispenser which is battered and out of action. It is here you get your first taste of the unimaginative plot behind this one: both GET SEAT and GET TABLE elicit 'You cannot do that' with no further elaboration. Now, I think it quite reasonable to assume the author must have expected the player to attempt to get these items and it wouldn't be expecting too much to have a more imaginative reply to the one given. In general, there are very few occasions where comments are received unless they're along the lines of the solution to the game. When authors do not predict and think through how a game might be played, atmosphere is lost and the player settles down to a linear game characterised by a feeling of passive disinterest. In the Navigational Room, where there is a display screen, EXAM SCREE brings out one of the drawbacks to The Quilt the program assumes you are referring to something else when it comments 'The screwdriver is very small but will undo any screw'. A grill, a little distance away, is secured by screws and, what do you know, around the corner Ma screwdriver to deal with them. Not so quick though, the grill is eight feet up and out of reach. But remember, the solution does not lie in getting the table or the seats!

Space Detective is a very run-of- the-mill adventure. Owing to its linear plot and solution pathway it lacks atmosphere. When a game is unresponsive it fails to keep the player enthralled. There is little story here, just a set of preset problems and solutions, which is a little disappointing when you consider storytelling is what adventuring is all about.


Difficulty: not difficult
Graphics: average
Presentation: Spectrum character set
Input facility: verb/noun
Response: Quill
General Rating: Poor.