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River Software
Jack A. Lockerby
Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Paul Rigby
Chris Bourne

'Where has all the magic gone?' and,'Without magic our lives are empty and void', were typical of the cries to be heard throughout the countryside. Magic was a handy thing to have around and it relieved the boredom of a long day in the field. Lose something and you must find it. Hence you've been nominated to find out what's going on and where all the magic has gone.

Orcs are a pain in the armpit. Ratty y'know. Mean. Oh, and they have a thing about tearing people limb from limb. But nobody's perfect, right?

However, orcs were the main problem at the beginning of the game. In fact, they were in hot pursuit, chasing you through the forest. Luckily you're pretty fast so it was no surprise when you lost the group around the old fort.

After resting from the chase, you awake the next morning to find the orcs blocking your escape route! What to do? Hmmm.

After the introduction and a short list of usable verbs, the game begins. Displayed with (largely) black text on a green background. Into the Mystic uses succinct location descriptions with a restricted use of the EXAMine command. That is, only where it's necessary to forward the plot or add essential atmosphere.

The principle feature of Mystic is the puzzle quality, which is very high. There are one or two real brain teasers in there. I especially enjoyed the first puzzle which is quite logical. Although you're given subtle clues, the solution remains obscure enough to drive you crazy.

Technically, the game is not the most advanced adventure I've ever played. Although you have a handy X command to replace the EXAMINE command, you can't link commands via AND or punctuation.

However, programmer Jack Lockerby is not known for his technical achievements. Instead, he has a well deserved reputation for producing well designed, very playable adventures that guarantee hours of enjoyment. Into the Mystic is a very good example, doubly so at this price.

Overall 78%

Contact point: 44 Hyde Place, Aylesham, Canterbury, Kent CT3 3AL



Screenshot Text

The orc attack begins in into the Mystic...