Magic Madness (Anco) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

Computer Gamer

Magic Madness
By Anco
Commodore 64

Published in Computer Gamer #25

Magic Madness

Neverland used to be ruled by four magicians, each of whom derived his power from a magical scroll. The four sed their combined talents for the good of Neverland which prospered.

But that changed with the arrival of Colo!

The skies turned black when he arrived with a deafening roar. The evil sorceror killed the four magicians where they stood, stole the scrolls and took over.

Neverland changed, tyranny ruled, so desperate did things become that the inhabitants decided that Colo and his minions must be destroyed at all costs.

So it was that a deputation of Neverlanders arrived at your cave one morning, pleading with you to help them. As a witch, they explained, you should be able to use your magic to destroy Colo. They offer you four gifts to help you in your task - a cape, a cross, a wand and a sand glass. You find it impossible to resist their pleas, accept their gifts and make your way to the entrance of Colo's burrow.

The burrow is divided into four levels, each one contains one of the scrolls. Only when you possess all four scrolls can you seek out Colo himself.

You start off in the forest. Above you, if you can reach it, is the divine level - lots of clouds to be bounced over. One level below are the caverns and below that, the ice.

You can drop down levels through selected gaps but jumping up again is trickier.

You start of with a selection of weapons and spells. Your normal mode of attack is with bolts of energy fired from your wand. Provided there is still some energy left in the wand, you can toggle between it and any other weapon acquired. There can be found in treasure chests, of which there are many in the burrow. The chests may also contain bonus scores and balloons - vital for elevation to higher levels.

However, should your wand energy run out - it does replenish with time - you will be forced to resort to bare knuckle fighting.

The weapons and spells you pick up are for use against the different creatures that you encounter. Some are impervious to certain weapons but vulnerable to others. For example, wand bolts will bounce off the club-wielding Marhkos, although you can thump them out of your way. In practice, it is easier to jump over them though, an art to be practised as the longer you keep the joystick in the 'up' position, the higher you leap.

The spells include a cutter, a type of boomerang, shield, fireball, guard, as well as other weapons.

As each scroll must be found within a certain time limit there is also a timestop.

Apart from the Marhkos, the other denizens of the burrow who are equally hostile, include goblines, skeletons and slugs. There is also something called a 'lift genius' whose sole object in life is to drag you down two levels thus making the divine and forest scrolls even harder to attain. If you reach the end of a level, you are given the scroll by a guardian ant-eater! (Who comes up with these ideas?) And the monsters become more vicious.

Magic Madness is a cross between Ghosts And Goblins and Cobra. Although the graphics are a bit blocky, on-screen presentation is generally good. The game plays well and is quite addictive. Written back in 1985, it is a pity Anco could not get the rights back then as there are now several games of this type already on the market.