Amstrad Action1st November 1986
Published in Amstrad Action #14
There still aren't too many disk-only games around, despite the huge success of the 6128. This effort from Amsoft (written by Magic Logic) is set in the Orient, where a monk has to achieve enlightenment by lighting incense before the great Buddha in a golden temple. To achieve that you've got to solve a fair few arcade-adventure problems and explore the delightfully drawn scenery of the far east.
The name of the game derives from the yellow line that the monk follows through the screens in the game as they wind up and down the hills and to various locations. You can't deviate off the line, but there are junctions where it forks or leads into buildings. Your life as a monk starts as a young man and the quest has to be completed before you age too much and become an ex-monk that has ceased to be.
As you wander along the path you'll encounter animals and people who may block it and have to be dealt with somehow. This could be by giving them an object or by fighting them - the only way to find out is to try it. There are also mechanisms that can be used, but again you may need the right object or person to activate it.
Objects you find can be carried, stored in one of your four pockets, or even thrown at something. You've also got the ability to jump, duck, block, punch and push - you can also experiment on people and objects. Many of the animals and people will attack you; unless you're prepared with an adequate defence, you'll lose a life. (Presumably as a Buddhist you don't kill others.)
Making your way along the path isn't always easy. It disappears in places, and you have to search for possible routes.
Far more annoying is the way the disk-drive is continually accessed. Whenever you change screens, perform some actions or die, the disk always spends an eternity whirring around to load more data. This quickly gets very wearing and tedious and is exacerbated by the need to flip the disk over when entering some parts of the game.There's actually a reasonable arcade-adventure game: the graphics look good and there are some pleasant puzzles. But putting up with the wildly infuriating disk problems while trying to explore will be a bit too much to ask even of the most patient gamesplayer.
Well, what do you know - it's a game that's unplayable in a whole new way. I'm just amazed at the nerve it must take to market this thing. There may be some interesting puzzles in here, but nobody's going to have the patience to get anywhere with them. Dazzlingly stupid.
Green Screen View
The landscapes lose a lot of their scenic appeal, and that's pretty serious. After all, you're going to be staring at them for a long time waiting for the disk to stop running.
P. Good graphics for characters and backgrounds.
P. Some interesting puzzles to solve.
N. The disk-accessing would try the patience of a saint.
N. Not only continual accessing but you have to flip the disk over as well.
N. Incredibly difficult to explore the game and discover things while trying to put up with such problems.