Black Crystal (Carnell) Review | ZX Computing - Everygamegoing

ZX Computing

Black Crystal
By Carnell
Spectrum 48K

Published in ZX Computing #10

Black Crystal

Although it took four weeks for the Black Crystal adventure program from Carnell to arrive, it was very impressively packaged on two tapes with a large pamphlet which reported the history of The Black Crystal and listed the control keys.

The game was in six parts which all loaded in the first time, although there was a back-up copy. The quality of the tape was good and there was very little hiss. I decided to be a wizard the first time I played the adventure.

The graphic display at least on the first map was very jerky. In several parts, particularly maps three and four, the program is mainly text; however, graphics play a large part in the game. The main drawback is the speed of the graphical display which could be improved using machine code or Pascal. The keyboard reacts quickly, which is important for the battles are in real time.

Your aim is to collect seven rings of power which are hidden in the six maps. The difficulties in the maps arise from monsters, either controlled by the Lord's Chaos or ones independent but just as mean. The game is by no means easy. The greatest difficulty arises from maps one, two, five and six whch are the most graphical; maps three and four are less graphical but by no means easy.

Despite the same plot being used in different games, the sheer quantity always means there is something to see. In map four the kng reacts very amusingly when he orders your death, but, because you are resurrected by Gora, now a semi-God, he captures you again. Also, the abacus which you pick up can never get the right answer.

The game is addictive because you often have to spend more than one day on one game. I have now played several games, all most enjoyable. My favourite is map six, which is the shortest but still challenging, particularly the second level game of logic. Because there is 180K of program in this package, there is a great deal of variety.

Graphics feature largely in the game and use of the user-defined graphics is very good. However, a keyboard overlay would be useful as more than sixteen keys are used in some parts, excluding those which require two word commands. Map one has a very impressive graphic display.

At £7.50, it is a very good buy as it includes an incredible amount of detail and is very good quality. It is highly recommendable.

John Hall

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