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SCR Adventures
1984
Adventure: Text
£8.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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103
Chris Bourne

The task in this text-only adventure, which is the first of a planned series of 'Artemis Quests', is to enter Castle Blackstar at the behest of a beautiful, mysterious woman glimpsed in a dream. There you must recover her power orb from the vast underground caverns. To achieve maximum points all treasures found must be cleaned of their evil, all puzzles solved and the orb returned to our dear lady, who is, of course, no less than a Goddess - Artemis. She promises to covertly help you during your quest. The maximum score is 240 and, if successful, you may keep all the loot!

A note in the accompanying 8-page booklet says that the driver software for Castle Blackstar is based extensively on the Adven-80 program developed by Peter Scargil!.

CRITICISM

'As a text-only adventure amongst the new wave of graphic adventures, Castle Blackstar manages to hold its own very well. The location descriptions are nice, detailed and manage to create atmosphere in simple terms very well. The computer's replies to one's more nonsensical commands have a good touch of humour, and with fast machine code response this works very entertainingly.'

'I quickly found the castle at the beginning of the quest, but having strayed two moves away from it into the forest, I found the compass directions magically faded and I couldn t get back. Twenty steps later i was still stumbling blindly through thick forest. 'Climb Tree' to get a better view only elicited the response that such a dangerous undertaking was useless and I wouldn t find anything up there anyway! Starting to think the forest was intended as a death trap, I suddenly came upon a Gingerbread House in a clearing - and that was a death hole - three moves later I'd been turned into a wriggling worm and ended up inside some bird's tummy! Great!"

'A good text adventure beats a mixed graphics/text one anyday, and Castle Blackstar ranks with Artic's best. But SCR had better reconsider their pricing - ?8.95 is way over the top for what they offer. Otherwise a great start for a new company and I look forward to Artemis Quest 2. Exploring the inside of the castle was great fun, and I was impressed that turning a winch in one room actually operated something four or five loca- hens away without my even knowing it until later when my apparently meaningless activity proved valuable! Beware of the fierce musical eagles (neat), and I hope you have more luck than me in getting a source of light to set about exploring the dark lower regions (sorry, Artemis, let you down there .) Great game, pity about the price.'

COMMENTS
Graphics: text only, very simple, black letters on white ground, clear and easy to read

General Rating: A good adventure, but pricey.

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