Electron User


Adventure 4 Pack

Author: Pendragon
Publisher: Potter Programs
Machine: BBC/Electron

 
Published in Electron User 4.06

Whenever I see compilation tapes at bargain prices I am always a little worried about the quality of the software. I was especially concerned in this instance when I discovered that each adventure had been written by an enthusiastic amateur. But my prejudice proved ill-founded as I soon found that Adventure 4 Pack is a smashing collection of text-only adventures.

Philosopher's Stone, written by Graham Barlow, opens side one. It employs a very clever loading screen and an excellent choice between Mode 4 text or a mystical re-defined script. You take the role of Daverick Harpmoon on a quest to find the philosopher's stone, a rare substance which will change base metals into gold and produce an elixir of life.

You will soon find that the forest is a series of dead ends - but you will also come across a kleptomaniac pixie who is guarding a dog's dinner.

The second adventure is Heaxgram Of Trutania Valley, which I have to admit is my favourite of the four. It is written by Michael Winter and Simon Clifford and involves a search to find six coloured triangles which together make up a hexagram. You begin your task in a town centre but after a few moves you find yourself walking through fields of turnips, oats and barley. The exit descriptions are excellent and remind me of the Level 9 style of writing.

You need to read these descriptions carefully to discover some poison and meat which can be used to kill the lion that guards the first triangle.

Inner Space is an anonymously-written adventure which is quite mystic and off-the-wall in character. The opening scenario is streets of derelict houses infested with flies which need swatting. In the back garden of one such house is a ladder to the clouds which is definitely worth climbing. The opening 30 moves require the seemingly random collection of objects in order to solve equally obscure problems.

The final offering is a Quill-written adventure entitled Stranded On Iloofrak. Author Matthew O'Donnell informs you that while you're working on a new form of teleport, an experiment in your lab goes terribly wrong and you find yourself transported to the small planet of Iloofrax. This adventure was spoilt for me by some unfortunate errors in the location descriptions but was otherwise an enjoyable romp through a maze-ridden planet.

All in all, well worth the money and the best thing Potter has produced to date.

Pendragon

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