Amstrad Action

The Test

Author: The Pilgrim
Publisher: The Adventure Workshop
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #59

The Test

Ken Bond is somewhat of a miracle - he is the only Amstrad user who actually writes adventures with Gilsoft's Professional Adventure Writer, and the results he obtains demonstrate the power of the PAW. The Test is no exception. If only more adventure authors would replace their copies of GAC and Quill with the PAW, then the quality of the games available on the CPC would improve. Of course, this is a shame for tape users, but it is the only way ahead for the adventure scene to survive on the CPC. Most of the good adventures released nowadays are disk only - Avon, The Island, Last Days Of Doom and The Test being a good representation of the quality recently available.

The Test begins with you floating down through the air, with the great white canopy of a parachute billowing above you. Quickly you spot your target: a white cross, and you pull gently on the cords to change your direction. Before you know it, you have landed and have started the test.

The Test

The Test is an aptitude examination given to prospective members of the EFF (The Elite Fighting Force - a bit like the SAS). This involves being dropped by parachute into an environment that has been made deliberately hostile and working your way out by means of your wits. Only the best will survive as you are pitted against mental and physical puzzles.

The Test comes in two parts and is text only. However, the text is verbose enough to conjure up a good atmosphere so that you do not miss graphics. Before you know where the time has gone, you will have wandered through a minefield, a stone quarry, a desolate churchyard - and that's before you're even half-way through the game!

Some of the puzzles are difficult but nearly all are logical and well thought out. There is the obligatory maze in the form of a bog (which is quite deadly if you don't poke around), but one of the best puzzles involves an old train which you have to learn to drive.

The Test is like a good book, easy to get into, but difficult to put down. Its size is impressive thanks to PAWs efficient text compression routines and Ken's work in making the game in two parts.

Well worth £4.50, The Test is an essential game in any adventure player's collection.

The Pilgrim

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