Kuma has started to produce software, to be marketed by Amsoft, and one of their first offerings is a graphic adventure called Gems Of Stradus.
The main objective is to discover the wealth of 'AM'. But, as with most adventures, there are a number of other problems to be solved which are posed by snakes, ghosts and other nasties.
Once loaded the screen gives instructions about commands allowed and how to move around from room to room. The main display shows three text and one graphics window. As well as a picture of each room you enter, there's also a window for reports, another for error messages and a strip along the bottom for the input of commands.
You move around Stradus using the cursor keys, and commands may be stacked in the Amstrad's keyboard buffer so that you can move quickly from one area to another. If you don't know where you're going, you can land in trouble.
The room display itself shows the three walls and associated doors. Rooms can be distinguished by the colour coding of their walls, with each room having a different scheme - (the Great AM is obviously a dab hand with a Dulux colour chart). Objects are cunningly displayed in set positions on the floor of the rooms, which means that they never overlap.
The command interpreter is a fairly basic example of the species, recognising only two word entries and not responding to useful commands such as "DROP EVERYTHING". It does, however, check for foolish entries, like trying to walk through solid walls or locked doors.
A maze adventure is hardly a new concept, and there are certainly games with better graphics than Gems Of Stradus, but for all that there is something rather appealing about the game. As an adventure, it's not easy, but the puzzles are logical and the input routines seem pretty bomb-proof. Worth looking at until some more advanced graphic adventures come along for the Amstrad 464.