Black Crystal (Carnell) Review | Home Computing Weekly - Everygamegoing

Home Computing Weekly

Black Crystal
By Carnell
Sinclair ZX81

Published in Home Computing Weekly #5

Black Crystal is the most ambitious adventure game I've seen for the ZX81, with elements of Lord Of The Rings grafted on to the adventure format.

You take on the role of warrior, elf or wizard, with corresponding values for physical and spiritual strength, before setting off into the valley of Beroth. Your aim is to retrieve all seven rings of light and eventually, by placing them in exact locations around the black crystal itself, to rid the valley of evil.

The program is large and is divided into six segments preceded by a short load test. Unless you are starting a new game, you enter each segment by specifying a map reference determined in the segment previously played; the order is not fixed in advance.

Myself, I'm not far into the quest yet: it takes some time to master the use of keys controlling movement and weapons, and to discover the right tactics for various monsters. Still, Black Crystal has impressed me by its sheer quantity and generally high quality of presentation. I'm afraid I've become an addict.