Castle Blackstar
BBC Model B

Published in Beebug #37

Castle Blackstar

The original version of this text-only game was voted one of the top eight adventures of 1984 - and it deserved it. The game conceals over 200 well described locations about its person, crammed full of reasonable puzzles. The object of the quest is to search the rooms and underground passages of Castle Blackstar and thus find and restore the magic orb to the goddess Artemis.

Luckily the goddess keeps a weather eye on your progress and should you go 'A over T' down some black hole, she will reincarnate you with a quick puff of pixie dust. The game permits easy access to a large number of initial locations which contain a wealth of interesting objects to manipulate - a bottle of heat resisting liquid, a coil of elfin rope and a bag of flour, for example.

There are many cryptic meassages to read, odd-shaped buttons to push and wheels to turn, all of which have intriguing results off-screen. As with many Middle Earth scenarios, there is a forest maze, in which I soon felt as dense as the trees so I returned as quickly as I could to the relative sanity of the castle.

The game accepts sentence commands but should it fail to recognise something, it unfortunately gives no indication as to which work it baulks at - budding authors, please note! No hints and answers heet is supplied, so befuddled players must write to CDS for any help. I must confess that I prefer this option. Supplying a sealed envelope to an adventurer is a bit like placing a bag of buns within talon-reach of the Beebug dragon!

There is a Troll Bridge and a knife-throwing elf but there is little else in common with Colossal Adventure other than the sheer size of this game. Furthermore, even more complex adventures are promised by this company. That's certainly good news.


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