Flint's Gold
By Micrograf
BBC Model B

Published in Computer & Video Games #35

Flint's Gold

There I was, smugly thinking I'd wrapped up this month's Adventure pages, when I looked with horror at my disc directory and found I was three granules short! Having spent the day checking through the games I'd reviewed by playing them again, tidying copy up, adding bits, answering helping letters and filing things, I though OH NO! Not another, at this late hour!

A BBC game, I thought - shorter loading time than the Commodore and easier on the fingers than the Spectrum. I perused the software shelf and saw nothing special. I pulled out Haunted Abbey From A&F and, after an hour, wished I hadn't!

There was something very nasty in that abbey and it kept taking me back to BASIC READY with a click and a beep halfway through the load. I repeatedly changed volume and tone and then tried the reverse side -- no duplicate. Asking for copying were I ever able to load it, wasn't it? So I looked closely at the conditions on the inlay - piracy being a hot subject. The game is sold subject to A&F's unmentioned conditions. Think I'm clairvoyant, do they? I'd be a mug to waste money writing to them just to find out what they didn't want me to do, wouldn't I?

Flint's Gold

However, the inlay did say they didn't want me to copy – just as well I couldn't load it, I suppose. And what's this bit about not lending? Personally, I think that's downright cheeky. If I want to lend my own property to a friend I will – and nobody will stop me! Piracy is one thing - back-up copying and lending is another.

A&F undertake to replace copies that do not load, but I needed to meet a deadline and could not wait that long. Piracy, eh? So I picked up Flint's Gold – it had a copy on both sides.

A&F's loss was Micrograf's gain, for here, under an innocuous inlay, was a gem. Here, in glorious technicolor and four track sound, was a light, bubbly Adventure. I could see the green palm trees and the galleon in the bay under a blue sky. I could hear the rush of foam on a tropical beach and the screech of seagull's circling overhead. The sailor's hornpipe got a hold of me and I drifted...a welcome change from heavy puzzling and synonym bashing.

Flint's Gold

All this was not in the mind — there it was coming from the speaker and screen of my Beeb. Eventually, I came face to face with a black and white text Adventure with pictorial interludes, but the sound effects continued, bringing the colour back to mind.

The language was heavily overdone. "Aye Aye, Matey," and "OK, Jim Lad” are among the phrases, but even when Long John Silver smashed me with his crutch and I was told "You are dead, matey!” I didn't mind! I cursed, but I had a smile on my face. I had been thoroughly enjoying myself getting drunk on grog, listening to whispered messages from a seaman lurking in a dark alley and trying to milk a goat!

Despite what I said about a relief from puzzling, this Adventure is not without problems — but it is wonderfully entertaining with it!

Flint's Gold is from Micrograf for the BBC, priced £6.95, or £9.95 on disc.