Model B Odysseys Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

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Model B Odysseys
By Superior
BBC Model B

Published in Personal Computer News #054

Dust off that old lantern and grab your rusty axe. Bob Chappell and his BBC go adventuring.

Model B Odysseys

Dust off that lantern and grab your rusty axe. Bob Chappell and his BBC go adventuring

It's time to spring-clean the brain cells with these six stimulating text adventures for BBC B owners.

Gideon's Gamble

Superior Software supplies this tale of a treasure hunt on the High Seas. Legend has it that the infamous pirate Hezekiah Gideon buried all his ill-gotten gains on a desert island. King Nimblie III has commissioned you, famed adventurer Captain Hogwash, to embark on an expedition to locate the island and recover the treasure.

Before you can up anchor, you must furnish your ship with essential cargo. As there is a limit to how much your galleon can carry, supplies must be chosen with care. There are quite a few places to search for your provisioning, so stocking up isn't easy.

This adventure has its tongue firmly in cheek. For instance, although your ship is wind-powered, you just might find that you need to take a bus and train ride before you set sail!

Some simple graphics and sound effects enhance what is basically a traditional text adventure. Function keys are reserved for use as single-key entry of common commands such as TAKE, DROP or HELP.

An enjoyable adventure - but watch out for the Roggin, whatever that may be!

Star Trek - The Adventure

Also from Superior Software comes Star Trek which has you playing the part of the bold Captain Kirk. Starship Enterprise has been waylaid by Klingons and badly-damaged; all the crew have abandoned ship, leaving just you and Mr. Spock. Spock has beamed over to the Klingon ship to negotiate a truce. He should have known better than to try to reason with a Klingon - he is now being held prisoner.

The adventure starts with you on the deserted bridge of the Enterprise. A quick check round reveals that most of the ship's systems are dead or inoperable and you don't seem to be able to do too much about it. The dark room nearby surely must lead someplace - but where to find a light? Calling on the HELP command only provokes the response: 'Help prohibited by Starfleet Prime Directive 5'.

The Survivor

An unusual one, this. The year is 1910 and you're in deep trouble - that's unless trying to swim in a shark-infested sea is your idea of fun.

The lifeboat nearby looks full already. Apparently you were sailing in an antiquated tramp steamer bound for Borneo when the engine blew up, thus accounting for your present damp predicament.

The aim in this adventure from MP Software is to forget all about treasure hunts and just survive. If you make it to an island, there's still lots to worry about - cannibals, an oddball castaway, crocodiles, rapids and soldier ants to name but a few of the hazards to survival.

Original and challenging.

Castle Frankenstein

You thought that the Frankenstein monster had died in a fire decades ago, didn't you? Epic Software knows better - several unsolved murders have taken place near your village which just happens to be close to the site of the notorious Castle Frankenstein.

Renowned adventurer that you are, it is only natural that the locals should choose you to pay a visit to the castle to track down and destroy the creature.

This all-text adventure is pleasingly presented in white upper and lower case, with interline spacing, against a blue background. The program recognises and acts upon about 140 words, including the essential SAVE and LOAD options, although there is no HELP facility.

There's quite a bit of exploring and collecting to do before you can get into the castle itself - a pit, forest and graveyard are likely to slow down your progress.

A pretty tough beginning to a text adventure which should have you wracking your brains to avoid getting rated by the program as "Trained Chimp".

Blue Dragon

Written in machine code, this text adventure from MP Software gives instant responses to your commands.

According to a myth, fabulous treasure is lying waiting for someone to come and get it. Reputed to belong to the Sun God, it's been hidden on an island. Not having much faith in banks or safes, he has set a fearsome blue dragon to watch over it. In this adventure, you'll need magic. But don't rely too much on it as it has nasty habit of backfiring.

Although locations and objects remain constant, there are several random events which you'll have to learn how to deal with. The program usually gives you two choices when confronted with one of these incidents. For example, when suddenly being charged upon by a terrifying black knight on horseback, you are given the option to hide or stand your ground. At another point, a passing wagon provides an opportunity for hitching a lift or hiding.

Blue Dragon plunges you into the action right from go - strange birds, orcs, knights, witches, yellow-slit eyes, and dark, dangerous caves are just a few of the early unpleasantries you're likely to encounter.

Plenty of action and interest, the pace is aided by lightning response to your input. Highly commended.

The Quest For The Holy Grail

If you want to be a Knight of the Round Table, you must first prove yourself worthy. Just a small trial: "Seek out the Holy Grail," says King Arthur, so off you go.

En route through forests, marshes, rivers, mountains, castle and dungeons you will encounter an assortment of characters, some friendly, some not.

Due to the use of text compression techniques, there are a large number of places to explore. The program is in machine code so response is fast. An interesting adventure with enough puzzles to keep those brain cells ticking away.

Bob Chappell

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