Hard on the heels of White Magic comes the sequel. The new game hardly differs from the original apart from a slightly modified title screen and the addition of a screen designer.
You get 32 new levels to play and pretty tough they are too. After a full day's play I only got to the fourth one. Still they are not so difficult that they discourage you from playing on.
The sound and graphics are all exactly the same as the previous version which means they're top quality backgrounds and characters and the sprites still resemble and move like the ones in Ravenskull.
However, the screen designer is what White Magic 2 is really all about. It is loaded separately and is stored after the game but before the first level on the tape. You are presented with the majority of the screen blank, a scrollable window containing the available icons, two areas showing the piece of scenery under the pointer and the other containing the currently selected one.
To create a level you just paint over the blank area. The Z, X, : and / keys move the cursor, while A, S, P and L are used to choose an icon. RETURN places an icon on the screen and DELETE erases it. The manual I used was only the draft version, but I did take heed of the warning that the border must contain solid characters. You needn't worry however, as the editor has fairly extensive error checks which include examining the border, ensuring there is a trapdoor and master key.
Of course, what it can't do is check that the level can be completed - the overall design is up to you. It's very simple to just sit down and start creating, but the size of the screen is huge and designing puzzles requires a little forethought.
My first screen was a lovely symmetrical affair with the start in the bottom left and the end in the top right. However, when I came to play test it I had my first introduction to the less friendly aspects of this software.
The start position must be within a small area in the top left of the screen. So much for my clever design - and no, there isn't a rotate option. Then there's a whole series of questions about what to call the level, the time limit, where the teleports transport to and, finally, you're told what the edit code is - essential if you want to re-edit at a later date.
What's really annoying is that this happens every time you want to try out your creation. Why there couldn't have been another menu option to enter these details just once I really don't know - after all, the rest of the editor is so well designed.
Anyway I went back to the drawing board and designed a whole new level which worked exceedingly well, if I do say so myself. There are a great number of factors which control how to design a screen but you learn these through experience. A devious mind also helps.* * * Second Opinion (By Roland Waddilove) * * *
Unless Superior can produce a new blockbuster pretty quick the Repton fan club will soon be turning its attentions to The 4th Dimension's White Magic 1 and 2. The sequel to the original arcade adventure includes 32 new levels plus a screen designer.
The editor is well equipped and easy to use, so when you've mastered the 32 levels supplied you can try your hand at designing your own and swap them with friends. Recommended.