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River Software
Not Known
1987
Compilation
£2.50
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

89
Mike Gerrard
Chris Bourne

I just had to have a look at these two text-only adventures as they're the first to reach me that have been done using PAW, and while they've got their faults they do indicate there are some exciting PAW'd adventures in store for us. The polish that PAW gives to a game is noticeable - if well used, of course, and Jack Lockerby's obviously fairly familiar with it.

The extra memory space makes use of a truly helpful HELP command, which brings up the equivalent of an answer sheet but with the solutions to the listed problems in code, so you have to copy down the one you're interested in and translate it. Location descriptions are changed in the blink of an eye when you take and drop objects. Nice use of responses, too. When you're carrying the object that one of the other characters wants, then the program checks it and gives a response automatically, without you having to try DROP FEATHER, GIVE FEATHER, OFFER FEATHER, USE FEATHER and so on. It might lead to you solving some problems without trying too hard, but who's complaining? About time we adventurers got a little break now and again!

The Challenge has you as Yarulla, who must challenge Pacheo, the dead chiefs eldest son, to decide who's going to lead the tribe. You're given half a medallion each (amazing how easily they snap in two or in four, these medallions and rings you find in adventures), sent your separate ways and told to return with the whole medallion and the Blue Stone from the country of bears and reptiles.

Davy Jones's Locker is a more amusing game, a follow-up to something called Lifeboat, which I'm not familiar with. Having rescued all and sundry (you mustn't forget sundry) from a lifeboat, you're marooned on a seemingly deserted ship with nothing but a ladder leading down into an unlit hold, where something slimy and nasty slithers up to you in the blackness. A bit of lateral thinking and casting round for ideas is needed to solve the first few problems, and you also need to be able to ignore some of the jokes, which should carry a government health warning. I mean, "You see a ton of timber float past. You wonder if this is what they call plank ton?" Groan and double-groan.

I'll forgive the author that, though, for his neat presentation and his worthy attempt to incorporate other characters into the adventure, like the dog that moves around, curls up, growls, goes to sleep and runs away when faced with imminent danger. The main location description is fixed at the top of the screen, with responses and other messages scrolling up beneath, though the objects you can get and drop are also altered instantly at the top of the screen in clever fashion.

Not the toughest and most atmospheric of adventures, but great value for money and well worth the effort of sending away for it.

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