Argus Press

Gisburne's Castle
By Martech

Published in A&B Computing 2.06

And now for something completely different - a graphic arcade adventure. Yes, something for everyone here. You move around locations in Sherwood Forest getting, dropping and using various objects - as in an adventure but battling your way with arrows against various assailants on a Mode 2 screen. Naturally, the BBC's ill reputed RAM capacity struggles to cope with such concurrent demand, with several unfortunate consequences.

One is that the text descriptions above the graphics are limited to say the least, and one's commands - which can only be entered after shooting everything that moves - are reduced to a few single key presses. No need to type INVENTORY though; your possessions are displayed graphically at the top of the screen.

Movement of your hero by keys or joystick is decidedly sluggish and gives the impression of walking through treacle. I suspect that arcade game fans will find the action rather slow and monotonous, while true adventurers will object to all the shoot-'em-up requirements distracting them from the problem solving and making them forget where they are on their maps.

In short, a good idea in principle. If and when Acorn produce a much needed official memory expansion for the BBC Micro - at a more realistic price than the 6502 second processor - then we should be able to enjoy some really playable games of this type.

Jonathan Evans

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