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Zenobi Software
Not Known
1991
Compilation
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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56,57
Ian Osborne
Chris Bourne

Adventures come and adventures go, but the true classics will always remain. Zenobi have collected six of the best titles ever, from both their own and other labels, and packaged them as one mega-stonking compilation. You can't go far wrong, can you?

DOUBLE AGENT (Tom Frost)
Your starship's sent to the planet Marego to help overcome an invasion by a bunch of unecological uglies (don't put yourself down, Ian-Ed) who've ruined their own world through their own carelessness. Still not satisfied, they've brought a highly volatile power crystal which is rapidly screwing up Marego, too.

Your mission didn't get off to a good start - your exploration party was captured and killed, leaving only two survivors who, due to the tortures they endured, are incapable of independent thought.

Luckily they still have their communicators and follow simple commands! Your task is to guide the two agents into the enemy base, find the crystal and return with both it and samples of rock and water from the dying planet.

Despite this rather run-of-the-mill plot, Double Agents one of the most exciting and innovative adventures ever seen on the Speccy. As you've probably gathered you control two agents, each of which has his own abilities - one's incredibly strong but cannot read Marego. the other's weaker but more literate.

To solve Double Agent you use the special abilities of both bods, and many problems require co-operation between them.

Adventures where you control more than one character aren't exactly thin on the ground but it's never been done as well as Double Agent.

The problems are interesting and original, utilising the cooperation element to the full, and being incapable of original thought. You don't have to worry about them wandering off at awkward moments. An all-time classic and a personal favourite of yours truly.

CLOUD 99 (Linda Wright)
Watch out. Jack Frosts about, and he's doing a damned sight more Than painting pretty patterns on your window and cracking your water pipes, too! Hellbent on sabotaging the weather halls on Cloud 99. your task's to repair the damage caused by his misdeeds and put an end to his naughtiness.

After you've explored your immediate surroundings and equipped yourself with lots of warm clothing, its up the ladder to meet the weatherman and into one of the cutest, most endearing fairytale adventures ever - it really makes you wish it were real (dream on, baby - Ed)!

Good use is made of the EXAMINE command, so keep your eyes open and spare a thought for the various characters you meet enroute - they all need your help. Cloud 99's a brilliantly constructed game and very easy to get into - one play and you're hooked! Polished production and a wonderfully intriguing storyline make it a real winner.

THE LABOURS OF HERCULES (Terry Taylor)
Driven insane by the jealous Hera, Hercules kills his wife and children (as you do -Ed).

Overcome by grief and guilt, the only way he can pay penance is carry out 12 tasks set for him by his sworn enemy, King Eurystheus. Each labour was so tough it was considered impossible for a mere mortal and will test even Hercules, son of Zeus!

Labours Of Hercules is a flawed yet brilliant game written using Gilsoft's Quill and Press utilities. Starting in Eurystheus's throne room, you' re given each task in turn. Sometimes an object gained during one mission is required in another.

The labours are highly varied so there's no danger of boredom setting in. As with most mythological adventures, some knowledge of the legend itself proves useful - if you're not too well up on Greek tales, pop down the local library.

Unfortunately, Labours Of Hercules contains several mazes. which bore the pants off most adventurers, and if the game contains a RAMsave facility I'm damned if I can find it.

Niggles aside, it's a good game. There's an awful lot to it and it's far from easy, so don't expect to complete it in one sitting. Persevere and you'll find it worthwhile.

THE DOMES OF SHA (Jack Lockerby)
Olaxas was once a thriving planet, supporting a strong agricultural economy... then came the war! No records of that terrible conflict survive, and even the elders remember nothing - it's almost as if the past has been wiped out.

One thing the war didn't destroy, however, was the irrational fear experienced by the Sha tribe, a fear preventing them leaving their dying valley. Are you strong and clever enough to break out?

The Domes Of Sha has a fair spread of puzzles, some easy, others will have you scratching your head into the wee small hours of the morning. The map's a little untidy but this doesn't stop The Domes Of Sha being an entertaining and original game.

THE SECRET OF LITTLE HODCOMBE (John Wilson)
In this, John Wilson's first ever adventure, you must find and defeat the source of evil that holds the tiny hamlet of Little Hodcome in its vice-like grip. How do you find the only man who can help? Why can't you enter the cottage you've inherited? Only time and a great deal of effort will tell...

The game's surprisingly serious in nature, though that John Wilson humour we've all grown to love is still present. An exciting and well presented adventure, still great fun after all these years.

RETARDED CREATURES AND CAVERNS (John Wilson)
Last but definitely not least is Retarded Creatures and Caverns. A hilarious adventure by the undisputed master of mirth himself.

Conned into taking part in a 'real life' roleplaying game, you help reluctant explorer Algy in his quest to unlock the secrets of Castle Toidi. Armed only with some ill fitting
Clothes, dodgy literature and a pouch, you must placate sleepy dragons, dodge one-legged elves and generally laugh yourself silly at the terrible jokes and witty responses.

Although extremely small map-wise. it's full to bursting with some of the most imaginative and entertaining problems ever. It's far from easy - even getting into the castle itself is quite a task - but the problems are always logical. When you finally succeed, you'll be kicking yourself for not getting it earlier.

With far too many adventures relying on awkward inputs or sheer guesswork for their difficulty, it' s great to see such a genuinely challenging game. Running Zenobi leaves John little time for writing these days, but if enough people twist his arm, who knows?

Six splendiferous games for £3.99... this is the adventure bargain of the century! PUT DOWN THIS MAGAZINE AND GET YOUR CHEOUE IN THE POST - NOW!!

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