Castle Master
By Incentive
Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #76

Castle Master

Whooo, Castle Eternity is a bit of a dark and spooky place: not exactly a top tourist spot because some pretty nasty things have happened here (so maybe it's just as well). Built by the Normans on top of the burial mound of evil wizard Magister, Castle Eternity has a bad reputation because all who enter its dank walls never return. And as the game starts your twin has been kidnapped and taken to the highest tower of the castle. You choose to play either the Prince or Princess who sets out to free the captured twin.

As with all Freescape games you view the scene through your character's eyes. Castle Master begins with you standing amidst the sound of thunder facing a raised drawbridge. You have a supply of rocks, so throw one at the trigger point to the left of the drawbridge. This drops it, and you're free to enter and explore. The status panel at screen bottom shows the amount of keys collected (these are used to open locked doors), strength, a 'spirit level' (if this gets too high it's end game) and a verbal description of the world around you.

Of course you aren't armed just for the fun of it: spooks abound, and they must be stoned before they sap all your strength, but watch out: for the various traps and pitfalls that lie in your path as well. I won't tell you how -to complete Castle Master but rest assured it'll take hours to do so. It's a long while since we heard from Incentive (Total Eclipse, in fact), and it's nice to see them back on form. My only slight niggle is that the Freescape technique has been used too often to be really impressive now, specially the rather blank look of it all, but arcade/strategy fans who want a tough challenge should look no further.

Castle Master

MARK ... 90%

Nick ... 80%

'Oh. whoopee, it's Freescape again, everyone's favourite 3-D game style. Yes, Incentive have given us yet another masterpiece of gaming in this brand new adventure. The thing is that Freescape stopped impressing me after Dark Side: no longer do I gasp when I look up, down and all around an object or titter when I end up not knowing where the hell I am. But this is a pretty good game, even if it has all been seen before. The best thing about all the Freescape games is the storyline. Castle Master, as you would expect, is set in a medieval castle with lots of ramparts, drawbridges and evil spirits to play about with. As anyone who has ever played a Freescape game before will know, you can roam about the game for hours trying to work out what to do... this is part of the fun!

Castle Master is definitely one for all you mappers out there to get to work on. Hurry up and send them in to me, then I can have a go at completing it! It's excellent and glorious. If you haven't got led up of 3-d shaded graphics yet, give it a go.'

Mark CaswellNick Roberts

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