Borrowed Time (Activision) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

Computer Gamer

Borrowed Time
By Activision
Commodore 64

Published in Computer Gamer #13

Borrowed Time

You are Sam Harlowe, a small time detective who has never hurt anyone - except the twenty people you're about to put away...

One day the office phone rings and a voice warns you that someone wants you dead. You see a shadow at the window - you turn and shoot your trusty .38 and kill an innocent window cleaner. Soon the police arrive, lock you up and the game ends.

If you can keep your trigger finger under control, you might be able to progress further in this excellent new adventure from Activision.

As the game unfolds, you must try and find 20 suspects and nail the one that wants you dead - before he gets you. This isn't going to be easy as a couple of thugs are waiting just outside your office door. A quick dash past them and you're in a hotel lobby and you dive for cover behind a chair. All you have to do is escape.

It's difficult to plan escapes when bullets are whistling past your ears so you should use the game's quicksav utility before you try anything risky (almost anything is risky in this game).

Borrowed Time just oozes quality, both in the game's graphics and the features provided to take some of the pain out of adventuring.

The screen is divided into four areas, a graphic view of your present location (there are often animated), below that the room description, alongside are pictures of the objects you are carrying in an inventory area and below that are two lists of commonly used commands.

You can control your actions in the game either by typing them in, as in other adventures, or by pointing a cursor at the appropriate words in the lists. I found the best way to be a combination of the two. Add to that the function keys which allow you to load and save the game position, repeat last command entered and construct long sentences for you to quickly finish, such as "Tell Me About..."

All these features, along with the game's excellent vocabulary allows you to concentrate on the considerable problems facing you in the game.

A fascinating game where just staying alive will challenge players enough to make them return to the game time after time.

Mike Roberts