Amstrad Action1st February 1988
Published in Amstrad Action #29
Well, well, well, this was a surprise for the price. Venom is a very simple game with only 30 commands (including movement) but its icon control system allows you to combine commands with surprising effect.
The screen display shows a small but attractive graphic display of your location, which is occasionally replaced by a text message giving some historical background to the game. This is useful since (as usual with Mastertronic games) there is very little detail on the cassette cover.
Beside the graphics window is a command window, listing 22 commands over which you can move a highlighting cursor with the joystick. Clicking on "Scroll" replaces the lower eight commands with eight further alternatives. All the usual low level options are there, plus a "Talk" command.
Beneath the text window is a one-line constantly scrolling message display strip that shows available exits and occasionally gives other information. Beneath that is the location description window.
Once you select a command it is either executed immediately (if possible) or, if it requires a direct object, you are given the opportunity of selecting any word from the location window or the 'characters present' window to apply it to. Some commands, like "Talk" will require both direct and indirect objects, so, for example, you might:
- Click on "Talk"
- Click on "Bashka"
- Click on "Open"
- Click on the word "Door" in the location description
...and then, after all that effort, hope for a decent response!
What impressed me about the program was the number of times I did get a decent response. For £1.99, it really isn't bad value, though I don't think it scores all that highly in the lasting interest stakes. The quest is the usual "save-the-world-from-the-baddie" scenario, but beggars can't be choosers and it puts some more expensive products I could mention to shame.