The Eye Of Bain
Artic Computing are the most experienced adventurers in the microcomputer business and produce some of the most popular adventure games. Eye of Bain is Adventure F in their famous series and it says much of their lasting appeal when adventure mailbags still contain a great proportion of queries solely concerned with their games. Eye of Bain breaks from the text-only tradition of the earlier members of the series with full screen, colourful graphics at every location. These are simple so as not to hold up the proceedings, and further, are only switched on when desired with L for LOOK and cancelled with ENTER. Artic adventures take so long to play there is little time left to actually write the review.
You find yourself in a hut with no obvious release from your predicament but plenty around to keep you thinking. This first problem strikes me as very Artic, either you solve the puzzle fairly quickly or you just give in - you don't even need the computer once you have digested the problem, as it is easily remembered, haunting you until it is solved. I suppose the idea is that one day you are sitting on the 25 bus and leap to your feet shouting, Eureka! I've got it! The annoying thing is - when you get home and load up - you haven't! You'll kick yourself when you do arrive at the solution as it requires no lateral thinking or intense brainstorming.
The vocabulary is verb/noun except for DRINK WATER which is not accepted while DRINK alone is. strange. The input routine is as sure as it could possibly be and this programming competence adds tremendously to the slick professional feel of the game.
Another feature which is indicative of Artic's vast experience is the invaluable GET ALL which smart y wraps up the first scene. GO or ENTER HOLE can be used to leave the hut but strangely GO HOLE won't take you back - GO HUT does. Shortly after, you enter the crossroads where it's best to be compassionate to the chap you find there. In return he says 'The blade and the hilt together do make, the downfall of the really big snake.' Utter gibberish presently, this will no doubt make some sense later on.
How to get free from your shackles is the first pressing problem after the hut. Very soon you run into the shapeless beast guarding a hole down a well, an ape up a tree whose usefulness is only realised later on, a pile of wood which, again, appears useless at first and, a very common problem in adventures, how to cross the desert without being fried to a fritter. One aspect that struck me as strange is the way in which the dense undergrowth at the well turned up nothing on examination. Is this a deliberate contrivance?
The Eye of Bain has a style and charm familiar to the thousands whose introductions to adventures was by playing the famous A-D Series. is latest addition, F, also displays fine graphics, making it a super adventure to play but, coming from Artic, difficult to play well.
Difficulty: contains many ingenious and logical problems like all Artic games
Graphics: full screen on every location and quite good too
Input facility: instantaneous
Response: limited to verb/noun