The Boggit (CRL) Review | ZX Computing - Everygamegoing

ZX Computing

The Boggit
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in ZX Computing #30

The Boggit

No matter what the publicity says, The Boggit is a direct spoof of Melbourne House's game as much as Tolkien's book. Or is it a rip-off? It's a thin line between the two which author Fergus McNeil doesn't always walk successfully, certain problems being identical. That said, The Boggit is one of the best adventures I've reviewed this year.

The sheer daftness of the humour is what appealed to many people about McNeil's previous mainstream releases like Bored Of The Rings

Soon the dwarves sing a charming song about how they're taking you (who they call "lardball" and "cement head") along on their mission (which I hardly need detail) so the dragon will eat you instead of them. Later you'll encounter the highly dubious Smelrond, the River Anadin ("great torrents of soluble pain relief roared quietly by") and my personal favourites, the spiders who bob around "most convincingly" on elastic bands. Perhaps unsurprisingly, lavatories also feature strongly. The humour isn't to everyone's taste - I didn't find it hilarious - but there should be something to make most people smile.

Vocabulary is mostly friendly, with the exception of the word CLIMB, which is often used instead of ENTER, e.g. CLIMB INTO CHEST. The ever useful RAM SAVE/LOAD option is included.

The split-screen graphics are all extremely attractive; with the exception of Adventure International's, I'd say they're the best I've seen. Many of them are close copies of Melbourne House's, and somehow manage to be both uncannily accurate and an improvement on the original.

There's more text than in the original too, with quite long, usually witty, location descriptions, verbose messages. Some events are described by several pages of text. The game is not always as responsive as I would have liked, but EXAMINE is usually productive and you're allowed to do plenty of irrelevant actions. Another nice feature is the characters who wander round in convincingly independent style; there's a clever TALK routine too. And yes, Thorny does sit down and sing about gold - though his song is somewhat cruder in this game!

There's lots to see but not that much to do in the way of actual problems. There's one real stumper close to the start, otherwise it's fairly logical. You must pay close attention to everything you're told though.

This game has virtually all the features I expect from an adventure, and shows how powerful The Quill utilities can be. Because there's so much, the game is in three parts; you can move freely between them reloading saved positions. A little inconvenient but far better than having less game.

There are a few bugs and the game is no masterpiece but, despite its faults, The Boggit is an extremely enjoyable and professional adventure.

A Monster Hit.