Sinclair User

Oracle's Cave

Publisher: Doric Computer Services
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Sinclair User #21

The Oracle's Cave

The Oracle's Cave, for the 48K Spectrum, hints at the way in which adventure games might develop in the near future. It is a graphics adventure but like nothing which you have seen previously. The screen is split into two parts and the scene is set in a matrix of caverns. The caves and your player-character are shown in silhouette and when you want to move around, the cave system will scroll in the direction of movement and the player will walk or climb.

The screen display also includes a chart showing the level of your energy and combat strength, together with the weapons, items and treasures you have found. Each quest is selected by you at the beginning of the game and you will have five game days in which to complete it. The time factor is exceptional in adventure games.

Oracle's Cave breaks away from the traditional concept of adventure gaming. It provides moving graphics displays which enable you to imagine the situation in which you are playing as if it were real.

One criticism, however, is that the command words are shown throughout the game. Unlike other adventures they are not hidden for the player to find. If you want to find a keyword you will often have to refer to the textual instruction on the cassette insert. For instance, k stands for key and r for rope. Memory restrictions may have interfered with putting more into the program but it would have been better to include explanations of words on the screen.

Oracle's Cave can be obtained from Doric Computer Services, 3 Oasis, Glenfield, Leicester.

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