A&B Computing


Author: Dave Reeder
Publisher: Superior/Acornsoft
Machine: Acorn Electron

Published in A&B Computing 5.02

This just isn't Superior's month! What could have been another superb 3D arcade adventure is let down by some of the slackest graphics I've seen for some time in this gaming sub-genre.

Coded by Dan and Elan Shirron from Israel, the game combines elements from several classic Ultimate arcade adventures - the familiar diamond-shaped rooms, the chunky graphics, the creations of spells from collected ingredients, etc - not to mention the feel of Imogen about the place. However, where Ultimate stunned us with incredibly busy screens, amusing graphics with lots of detail and lots of speed, Spellbinder just falls short.

The graphics look excellent as black and white screen dumps, but in movement, they are not impressive - the central character Eldon seems to scoot around on wheels - no feet, no leg movement, no realism. Some of the detailing of the castle is impressive but far too much of it is repetitious.


However, as if recognising the game's flaws, Superior is plugging away the puzzle angle and they are right to do so - the game involves a lot of searching and trial and error mixing of various magical objects discovered en route. What noxious mixture will keep away the Forest Hag or the Winged Skull?

One excellent feature of the game is the icon game controls, featuring searching, spell mixing, using objects, etc. Oddly the icons are controlled by the function keys which feels a bit odd (cursor control would have been my choice) but their presence here does raise my expectations that there may be more to this game after repeated plays.

However, my initial reaction was to curse the non-loading early preview of Bonecruncher - early exposure to that would have restored my faith in Superior, in arcade adventures and in the search for excellence. And Spellbinder...? I suggest you try and see it in action before you buy it.

Dave Reeder

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