Amstrad Action


Deadenders
By Top Ten
Amstrad CPC464/664/6128

 
Published in Amstrad Action #41

Deadenders

When will amateur adventure writers realise that careless programming is an instant turn off to reviewers?

Deadenders, a GACked spoof on that popular soap opera, simply bristles with bugs which tend to spoil what would otherwise be an enjoyable game.

The plot casts you as the local bobby, Donald Dance, and has you wandering around Herbert Square listening to gossip. Your task is to ascertain the whereabouts of a certain dog by the name of Willie and, having done so, determine the cause of said dog being squashed flat with two holes in his neck.

Deadenders

Herbert Square is populated by your favourite characters, many of whom have a marked aversion to conversing with the constabulary. This, together with a remarkably limited vocabulary, makes the task of eliciting information remarkably difficult.

A variety of objects clutter the game and supplies of some are eternal. Thus dead rats can be found and removed indefinitely and, as for the inexhaustible box of garlic crisps (yes garlic!), an off-beat gourmet should find plenty to eat - not, I'm sure, the programmer's intention!

Character interaction is the main point of this game and worming information out of reluctant residents takes a great deal of trial and error. It quickly becomes tedious asking x, y and z about z, y and x, especially when your informant finally delivers a gossipy gem which has more to do with nasty neighbours than Dirty Dan.

Deadenders is a classic example of a good idea spoilt by sloppy programming and inefficient (if not non-existent) playtesting. The pre-defined structure of GAC makes bug-hunting simple so there are no excuses for this kind of result - particularly when the game is on commercial release.

The Pilgrim

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