Electron User

By Heyley
Acorn Electron

Published in Electron User 5.07

A year ago I was given copies of Heyley's first two releases, The Ultimate Prize and Pirate's Peril. Although the adventures had much to commend them as first offerings, they lacked real thought in their puzzle construction, and the programs were slow to respond to commands. They also took about 80 seconds to load from disc.

Dreamtime still takes an eon to load, but after ten minutes play which then had me hooked for a further four hours, my above listed criticisms were negated. This adventure is fast - despite constant disc-access - well constructed and above all, addictive.

You are presented with an ingeniously designed loading screens which helps take out some of the tedium while waiting for Dreamtime to load. You are also given atmospheric background notes which put you in a role, something akin to a cross between Adrian Mole and Alice in Wonderland.


You awake to discover yourself in the entrance of a large motel. A reconnaissance of your immediate surroundings will present you with direct problems which need to be overcome.

How do you book a room at reception when you have no money? What is the purpose of the salt cellar in the dining room? What do you do about the demon alcohol? These problems must be tackled methodically if your dream is to unfold.

That is mainly what I loved about this adventure. Although the scenario is that of dreamland there is a total lack of the hackneyed fire breathing dragons and magical wizards.


The puzzles are all totally logical in retrospect, if a little far-fetched at times. Furthermore, the whole thing can be mapped logically, which makes adventuring more tolerable though no less frustrating.

The atmosphere created is comforting and often humorous but not quite in the league of Robico or Level 9, but this is a fault of the writing utility used rather than that of the design.

This large scale text adventure was composed and written using a modified form of Jonathan Evans' Adventurescape program. As with all adventures which are written using such a utility, design and parser limitations apply. However, Dreamtime succeeds remarkably well and leaves you wondering what Heyley would be capable of producing if it used pure machine code.

For the more seasoned campaigner, this adventure should keep your drive whirring for many hours and give you a few sleepless nights to boot.


Other Acorn Electron Game Reviews By Pendragon

  • The Puppetman Front Cover
    The Puppetman
  • In Search Of Atahaulpa Front Cover
    In Search Of Atahaulpa
  • Suds Front Cover
  • Galadriel In Distress Front Cover
    Galadriel In Distress
  • The Hunt Front Cover
    The Hunt
  • The Lost Crystal Front Cover
    The Lost Crystal
  • Suds Front Cover
  • Realm Of Chaos: Village Of Lost Souls Front Cover
    Realm Of Chaos: Village Of Lost Souls
  • Operation Safras Front Cover
    Operation Safras
  • Stranded Front Cover