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Mirrorsoft Ltd
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Richard Price
Chris Bourne

Caesar, the cheeky Daily Mirror cartoon cat, has appeared once before in a mouse-catching arcade game. Now he is the star of Caesar's Travels, described by the publishers as an animated story program and intended to attract the three to nine age group.

The hand-outs with the program make great play of the educational benefits of the game and so it seems fair to look at it as an aid to learning.

The game is basically an option adventure with the animated figure of Caesar walking through various scenes looking for a new home - he has been kicked out by his disgruntled owner Mr McGregor for smashing too much crockery in his pursuit of mice.

Each location is a full screen picture with text written above. There are six main options but no more than two appear on each screen. You may decide, for instance, to jump over a wall or hide in a dustbin.

There are 38 routes through the game and 18 different endings, all happy and non-violent - a point in the game's favour.

The graphics are bright and cheerful, very similar to the style of the earlier arcade game. However, Caesar flickers as he moves and the attributes tend to clash. Despite that, the cat is an appealing figure for children.

I am not sure that Caesar's Travels is successful as an educational tool as there are a number of inconsistencies which may only serve to confuse younger children.

At one point Caesar is disturbed in the night by a posse of alley cats. The player is asked to count the cats in the picture, but the other cats are depicted only as pairs of eyes glowing in the night. Even if you work out that those are the enemy cats you are not allowed to count Caesar who is the only really visible cat. Here then, you are expected to look through Caesar's eyes.

In contrast, at another decision point, you are given the option of going left or right. If you try to do this from the cat's viewpoint you will be told you are wrong.

Caesar's Travels
Publisher: Mirrorsoft
Memory: 48K
Price: £7.95