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Automata UK Ltd
Not Known
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Colette McDermott
Chris Bourne

REJUVENATED after its summer break, Automata celebrates its return with another compilation cassette of 10 games.

There are two illustrated text adventures. The first, Xtroth is difficult, but you can ask for help although the cryptic clues can be more mind boggling than the dilemma from which you seek rescue. Paradise in Microdot contains some zany humour with verses involving birds in trees, edible wriggly worms and little wriggly knees!

Then there are two maze games. Pi There has Rastapiman trapped in a cage being zapped by an evil eye. The Egg manages to drag the Tory Party into the story with Tory blue pills to collect and red ones to avoid.

Grab and dodge games make up another four programs. While some have interesting story lines, like hot air balloons, baked beans tins, or toilet cisterns where loo rolls must be collected, they are either slow in response or basic in graphics. Still, the humour seeps into the toilet scene - the text reads 'You can't beat the cistern.'

Nudgeit is a fruit machine simulation. The graphics are excellent, there are buttons to nudge, gamble, collect and hold. A further display has sums of money with arrows moving constantly between amounts during play. A large window allows a view of the slots themselves with the signs spinning realistically. You have 15 minutes to make your money.

Finally, Piman's Cocktail Cabinet is a list of nearly 200 cocktails complete with their ingredients. It is well laid out and contains some dubious names like Zombie.

The 10 Pack is a pretty mixed selection to cater for all tastes. The cassette comes complete with a £3 money-off voucher against two games, and can be bought only through mail order from Automata.

Colette McDermott

Publisher: Automata
Price: £8.00 inc P&P
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston