Calling All Social Climbers
This is the game for all those people looking for a bit of relief from the nasty goblins, wizards and dungeons that are so often the standard fare of adventures.
In this text-only adventure there are no castles to assault or valleys to negotiate. The only climbing you have to do is the social type. The object of the game is not a simple one. Just getting to Hampstead isn't too difficult. The trick is to 'arrive', with all the success and status which that implies. You must become a Hampstead person!
Unfortunately, the programmers don't make life easy for you. You start off in a grisly apartment, knee-deep in fungi and discarded take-away cartons, in a less salubrious area of north-east London.
Your first arduous task is to get dressed and out of the house without being mugged. Should you make the mistake of simply walking out the back gate you are tartly informed that you will never attain Hampstead status without transport.
Next comes the marginally less awkward task of collecting your dole cheque and cashing it in. Along the way there are plenty of wonderfully corny jokes and all too realistic descriptions of modern London life. I especially liked the queue in the dole office which seems to take forever to move.
Everything about the game is unconventional. Hampstead is the only adventure I know with commands like MARRY and KISS. Furthermore, there aren't many adventures where a Sony Walkman is considered an essential object. You can lie, steal, cheat and defraud to get to NW3.
The scenario and the text are well up to Melbourne House's usual high standards.