Return To Doom (Topologika) Review | Your Sinclair - Everygamegoing

Your Sinclair

Return To Doom
By Topologika
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Your Sinclair #35

Return To Doom

Topolgika continues its +3 support with this follow-up to the earlier Countdown To Doom, which unfortunately looked to me to be just what it was - a slightly updated version of an adventure several years old. This new one's a definite improvement though, and at £12.95 for a text-only adventure that almost fills one side of the disk (and leave the other side for your saved games) it certainly gets a bonus mark in the value-for-money category.

Author Peter Killworth has come up with some entertaining problems, and it's the problems that'll decide whether this game appeals or not as there's no attempt to create a convincing atmosphere, such as you get in a Magnetic Scrolls game for example. You might describe its games as novels and Killworth's as 'whodunnits'.

The game takes place on the very strange planet of Doomawangara, where you've been sent to rescue an ambassador who's been kidnapped by renegade robots. The minute you know you're in a Kilworth game - one or two moves in any direction and you'll find an object or a problem, and there are six directions to move in! Go north and you face the killer Montipython, south and there's a barred door, northeast are aromatic plants that fox your sense of direction, and so on. The game's certainly crammed with puzzles, although they do spread out a little bit more as you get into it.

One thing that's spoiled Topologika's games in the past has been the constant instant death routines, that come without warning. Here, although death still lurks round many corners, you do usually get a hint that something nasty might be about to happen, giving you a chance to save your game, and the author's also incorporated his own version of the 'OOPS' command. When you die he sometimes (but not always) pops up to ask you if you'd like him to pretend you didn't just do what you did!

You still need your wits about you, when it comes to solving the problems. I liked the way in which you kill the Grobbler monster at the bottom of Scintillating Shaft, and how you pass the trap that's next to the spongy area. Killworth's definitely got an inventive mind, and it's good in this game to have a chance to enjoy it, instead of being constantly killed as before.

If the problems prove too much for you there's the usual HELP feature incorporated, which runs to 88 questions, and a improvement this time is that you can also ask what use any particular object is for. A nice touch, that. In fact an enjoyable game all round, and well worth thinking about for +3 adventurers.

Mike Gerrard