Zenobi Software
Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

Ian Osborne
Chris Bourne

Many years ago, when Arcon became king, the Gods gave him the Staff of Power. Being a kind and honest ruler, he always used it fearsome powers for the good of his subjects.

Then it was stolen by the evil wizard Zyx who conned his way into the palace disguised as a beggar seeking justice. Raising the staff above his head, he curses the king for his goodness and vows to destroy the Kingdom.

Unsurprisingly, your task is to retrieve the staff and belt seven shades of **** out of Zyx, but first you must find four magical weapons…

Staff of Power reminds me of the old Scott Adams or Artic games in that it piles on puzzles-aplenty but doesn't give a feeling of being there.

Designed for beginners, it certainly has you thinking on your toes. Objects turn up in some peculiar places at times (how that light spell came to be inside a boulder is anyone's guess), but as long as you keep this in mind you should be okay.

Author Sue Medley seems to have had trouble fitting it into one 48K load, which has taken its toll on location text and EXAMINE responses. The latter is especially serious as it could leave you thinking something was part of the scenery when in fact it needed manipulating - perhaps splitting the game into two parts would've been in order.

Even so, if you're into older adventures you'll find Staff of Power immediately to your liking. Benefiting from a more modern approach to commands (no awkward inputs here!), it won't appeal to everybody but should soon find its niche in adventuredom.