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Gary M. Dobbs
1988
Adventure: Text
£2.00
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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39,40
Chris Bourne

Lavatory humour rides again in this amusing James Bond spoof (the title is a flatulent pun on Thunderbolt). Shamus Bond, our hero with a difference, is not only the world's sexiest secret agent but also a world class tiddlywinks champion!

The adventure begins rather sedately, with you sitting at your old desk back at HQ, mulling over an internal memo from Mmm - doesn't quite compare with the opening of The Spy Who Loved Me does it? But before rushing off down the office corridors you might as well have a look round your own room. Examine some old photos on the wall and you find out that you once stacked shelves for Woolworths - obviously a man of many hidden talents! Of course your ancient desk contains the obligatory drawer which, unusually, is not locked. Type UNLOCK DRAWER and you get a fairly witty message from the programmers, Gary and Ferret.

Upon finding Mmm your Top Secret briefing can begin. Apparently, the United Nations are finally trying to ban the 'Commode 64' under the inferior goods act! Unfortunately the evil Ernie Stavros Blobum is planning to foil this overdue piece of legislation by incapacitating the anti-C64 speakers with a powerful laxative. The reason for this dirty deed is that Blobum has secretly been smuggling diamonds inside the C64s.

To prepare yourself for the mission ahead you naturally search HQ for any useful items. Qewi, the resident gadget inventor, gives you both the inevitable bugging device and a bizarre exploding bun. He also informs you of some alterations he has made to your Bentley car. These consist of an ejector scat and oil spray, but as driving merely involves moving instantly to the desired location, these don't seem to be of much use.

A considerably more useful modification would be fixing the anti-burglar system. Pressing the correct button starts the engine, but if you forget to press it again before leaving the car it blows up, killing you. As it's very easy to forget to turn off the engine this tends to happen a lot and is very irritating. Luckily, the PAW parser allows you to RAMSAVE, making life slightly easier.

The locations to drive to include a hotel where Blobum is staying (as well as the Sacred Scroll programmers, working on their next game!). Also inside the hotel is a casino where Bond can 'riddle his wink' to supplement his meagre civil service pay. While gambling away don't be surprised if you're interrupted by a commercial break. This features ads for antizit lotion, mustard and pickle flavour crisps and a certain software company (I wonder who?). Equally strange is how the game states that the hero is very hungry.

Yet when he 'dies' of starvation, it admits that it was only kidding! Although the adventure contains much humour, the problems aren't exactly mind-bending. And when you do eventually find Blobum, he is surprisingly easy to defeat. With such a straightforward plot Thurulerbowel should prove just that bit too easy for most adventurers. Nonetheless it provides plenty of amusement while it lasts and despite its standard character set the occasional picture brightens up the appearance.

Thunderbowel is available from Sacred Scroll Software at 37 Brynhedd, Hendreforgan, Gilfach Goch, Porth CF39 8UT.

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