Castle Of Riddles Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

Personal Computer News


Castle Of Riddles
By Acornsoft
Acorn Electron

 
Published in Personal Computer News #001

Castle of Riddles

"About a week ago," begins the wizard. "One of the local upstart warlocks - curse him! - sneaked into my castle and made himself at home. He booby-trapped the entire place, and worst of all, he found my Ring of Power. I must have it back!"

The wizard stares piercingly at you. "Can you do it?" he asks. "Can you get my Ring back for me?"

This is the setting of Castle of Riddles, an adventure with the added lure of a 3,000 haul of Acorn hardware and software prizes for those who manage to crack its secrets by the end of this month. But you'll have to cudgel your brains pretty hard to earn your share of the prize.

Objectives

> You are a professional adventurer and swordsman, setting out to find the Magic Ring of Power. On your way, you may collect treasure, and you must avoid booby-traps.

You score points for picking up treasure and depositing it in a safe - but if you are killed, you will have to start all over again. This is no easy adventure. I spent the best part of a weekend battling with it, and never managed to get into the castle at all. But I cannot fault the packaging - the cassette comes in a classy black cardboard wrapper with fold-out instructions, hints and the introductory story.

I found the instructions quite clear. It was playing the game that turned out to be the problem.

In Play

> This is strictly a text adventure, with no graphics to lighten it. You use straightforward questions and answers to progress towards your goal; you may travel north, south, up, etc. You can call up a description of your immediate surroundings and an inventory of your possessions at any time.

But the real test comes in learning to use or avoid the objects you meet, and I found it took me some time to come to grips with the program's vocabulary to work out what I was or was not allowed to do.

If you get killed, the game goes straight back to the start, so you would be well advised to save moves before you attempt anything dangerous.

Verdict

> In its early stages, Castle of Riddles looks impossible. It is certainly not one to dabble in while cooking your dinner. If you are prepared to devote the time, it can provide days of entertainment, but if you prefer the Mirror to The Times, stick to Frogger.

Roger Tiplady