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Central Solutions
Not Known
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Richard Price
Chris Bourne

HOW WOULD you feel about paying 60p for an adventure? For the price of a few Mars bars you'd be unlikely to grumble too much even if it only gave you a few hours of brain-wringing.

Well, you can buy ten adventures for an equivalent cost per item. Central Solutions has put together ten Quilled text-only games in their Adventure Game Pack - Volume 1, all for the sum of £5.95. Although there's bound to be at least one turkey amongst them, there are likely to be several you enjoy.

The subjects are varied - war, fantasy, science fiction, time-voyaging, even Alice in Wonderland (though I have a suspicion that that is the gobbler!)

Crystal Quest is a Star Trek type game. You travel around the galaxy in search of six crystals which will save civilisation from destruction. There's a fair bit of fun in setting the coordinates, beaming down and getting disintegrated by androids. It has a decent number of locations.

Dragon Slayer is for fighting fantasists, being about the obvious. For many years the flying reptile has ravaged the land and the king has now decided to resign. Enough is enough, he thinks, and issues a challenge for some dumb hero to come forward and dispose of the beast.

There are three conquests to be made - first there's the Dragon in its lair, then you must locate the Temple of Light and, finally, enter the Wizard's Castle. You'll find the expected pseudo-medieval background packed with puzzles. All done on a good-looking screen with uncial lettering. It seems OK.

Sea of Zirun is an odd one in which you're sucked down into an alternative reality whilst out for a quiet swim. The whirlpool takes you into another ocean full of weird creatures, glowing caves and sea-nymphs. You spend the entire game trying to find a way out to your own time.

I didn't have time to play through every game but I feel that the pack is worth the price and contains a pleasing variety of plots. Almost all of these games will have been written by amateurs and prove that creativity in adventuring isn't something which only comes out of big software houses with big wallets.

And if anyone can tell me how to even start to solve A Tangled Tale - the Alice game - I will send the first correct respondent a crumpled fiver, if Gremlin will loan me one.

Richard Price

Adventure Game Pack
Publisher: Central Solutions
Price: £5.95
Memory: 48K