Sinclair User26th April 1987
Published in Sinclair User #64
Temple of Terror
Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone have been cleaning up for quite a number of years with their Fighting Fantasy books regularly entering the best seller charts, much to the annoyance of many 'proper' authors.
Basically, Fighting Fantasy books are solo dungeons (of the type pioneered by the Tunnels and Trolls system) in a paperback book. You are given the scenario, then a number of decision choices. Pick one, and you turn to page seven, pick another and it's page 31, and so on. A bit like an extended flow-diagram. Therefore a perfect target for putting on computer... and US Gold has both the money and sense to do it.
Temple of Terror, then, is based on an old FF book of the same name circa 1982, but made into an adventure with some graphics by Adventuresoft. And the result isn't bad, if a little bland.
Chief baddie Malbordus has been brought up by the Elves (not a pleasant experience at the best of times), and has been picking up tips on how to be naughty during his formative years. Lacking a caring social worker, he's gone bad, and has decided to pay a visit to the city of Vatos, across the Desert of Skulls (second on the right past the newsagents). If he finds the five Dragon artefacts therein, the known world is in big trouble, right?
Luckily, the pet crow of the kindly Wizard Yaztromo (yes, people were paid money to write this plot) overheard these plans, and he hot-footed it from his bachelor pad in the Darkwood to get help.
You volunteered, and you start off at the lip of a rope bridge, just about to be captured by pirates.
It's a 'solve this puzzle in four moves or you're dead' adventure beginning. Not that it's difficult, but I prefer a little more introduction to my adventures.
And so it goes on. The presentation is good (new character set, nice graphics with each location) but it's the content that bothers me. The problems are not going to keep you held up forever if you are an experienced pixie, the location descriptions are far from verbose and the parser, although adequate, is nothing special. One annoying thing, the Get All command, although documented in the instructions, is not implemented in the game itself. Slapped wrists. The book was about a couple of quid, the program's over three times that. Think before buying.
Plot from old Fighting Fantasy book, nicely presented but short on content. Experienced players will find it easy.