Amstrad Action1st August 1987
Published in Amstrad Action #23
So Dungeons, Amethysts, Alchemists 'N Everythin' (DAA for short), rather like CRL's Dracula, has attempted to gain a market by slapping a "Not Suitable For Persons Under The Age of 16" message on the cassette cover. Does that mean it's dirty? Or does it mean that people under 16 would be intellectually incapable of understanding its complex, convoluted prose? Or does the game feature passages of such blood-curdling horror that younger minds would be blasted into a terror-induced psychosis, never again to leave their comfy padded cells?
Well, ho-hum, it actually doesn't mean any of these things. Wot we have here is none other than a very light-hearted attempt to parody the contemporary adventure scene. In parts it's extremely amusing - other bits don't come off quite as well.
As Gayleigh, the Gay and Proud Warrior, you saunter forth into the land to defeat the evil Tite-Arz by locating a mystic amethyst that has been stolen from the Alchemist's tower. Players of Colossal Cave will soon recognise the terrain at the beginning of the game, but there have been some disturbing changes...You know this game is going to be different when the obligatory Dwarf passes by and "throws a flower at you. As he saunters away, you notice an unusual swivel of his hips...". Hmmm...
A short while later, at the underground lake, you find yourself upon a Sandie Shaw. Ho ho... And if the descriptions aren't long enough for you, the authors soon cheer you up with a "heavy, oak, strong, big, thick, sturdy, impressive, tall, hard, iron-banded, smooth yet slightly splintered wooden door". Hum...
I may seem a little reserved about this game, but the fact is that I did laugh a lot while I played it. For the most part the program is completely harmless and there's nothing ruder than Private Eye or Leather Goddesses. It's been programmed by Plasma Touch and shows a refreshingly relaxed approach to satire and sex. There's a Pattern Room (which is simply a pattern, "created by the Graphic Adventure Creator"), a squeaky voice ("ooooh my precioussss"), and even thrusting stalactites (which should have been stalagmites, but I guess one mustn't be too pedantic).
In fact, there's a good deal of thrusting throughout the game, as well as a good deal of doubtful prose. I really gritted my teeth when confronted by "the most least good taste wallpaper you have ever seen", or the "simply enormous cave" which is "big and large to the observing eye". Ugh... When will adventure-game publishers start applying to their product the similar skills that other publishers apply to the written word? And it's about time, in my opinion, that Steps Were Taken in this direction.
Frankly, games just don't come any cheaper than this either in content or in price. As it is, for £1.99 you just can't lose.