Readers with memories or back issues that stretch as far back as January will remember a review of Demon From The Darkside, Compass's earlier effort, and I wasn't the only reviewer to have a wee rave about that one. Now comes the follow-up, and it's even better, looking a whole lot more stylish and using The Quill, The illustrator, The Press and Art Studio to the full.
Yet again, not surprisingly, you play the part of Morrack, apprentice to the wizard, Ashmeard. In the first game you defeated Lord Drakon, or so you thought, for when you return to the lands of Dral your advisor and travelling companion Wise the Owl tells you that Drakon is alive and kicking - and probably kicking you if he gets half a chance. That's the bad news. The even worse news is that Ashmeard has snuffed it in the meantime, and with him has gone the knowledge of where the Golden Mask can be found. Can you find the Mask and defeat Drakon before his evil works its effect on Dral and its inhabitants? Course you can! Here we go, here we go, here we go...
Watch out for Drakon's Demons, many of which are at large in Dral already, but with a bit of searching somewhere near the start of the game you should find something that helps a little there. Various magic spells are handily lying around, up trees and in Demon encampments, and these can be cast later in the game in the right places. What I like about the game is that it doesn't take a dead straight line from start to finish. Right from the beginning you can go off in two different directions and have fun exploring those areas, and there are also several things you can do which might seem right at the time but turn out later on to have been a bit hasty of you.
If you just like playing adventures then you'll get your money's worth from this, but if you're into writing and selling your own then you definitely ought to check it out as it shows you what you're up against!