Personal Computer News


Monsters And Magic

Author: Bryan Skinner
Publisher: Interactive Software People
Machine: BBC Model B

 
Published in Personal Computer News #073

Deadly Dangers

Deadly Dangers

In the alliterative style of Dungeons and Dragons, Monsters and Magic is a fantasy adventure game featuring castles, giants, evil auras, headless idols, templates, treasure and the usual trappings of a warped imagination.

Objectives

Cast as a Luis Palau of yore you have been despatched to search for the 'Word of Truth'. Instructions abound on the colourful inlay card although, instead of simple listing the essential command words, it rather unhelpfully suggests that you should jot them down after they appear on screen.

In Play

Before loading the main game you must choose your character from those perennial crusaders: Fighter, Cleric, Thief and Ranger. Having then elected to join a race of humans, dwarves or elves you are allocated a performance rating for your dexterity, strength and intelligence.

Having loaded the game, you may buy various weapons and magic rings to assist you on your travels. There is also an assortment of baddie-bashing spells available such as "stun" and "mind blast".

Apart from a small schematic diagram of each room this is virtually a text-only adventure. Unfortunately, the text is so banal that you may be tempted to add a few choice phrases of your own to liven things up!

After commanding the computer to OPEN the pub, GET me a pint, DRINK my health, SPELL 'Mississippi', RELEASE George Davis, HIT the road and then DROP dead, there came the rather ill-bred retort - 'Eh?'

The program's vocabulary being seemingly exhausted, I wandered around the corridors smashing vials of holy water while roughing up a few giants on the way.

Behaving like that I was, not surprisingly, soon dead. As if to compound the tedium, I then had to reload the datafile containing the dungeon "module" each time I wanted another go - which wasn't often!

Verdict

Somebody, somewhere, has previously overestimated the gulibility of the software market, not to mention its spending power. Quite why anyone should bother with Monsters And Magic is beyond me. Almost identical textual games are so well established that they have become part of micro folklore. In fact, the most hazardous part of this 'adventure' was getting it to load in the first place.

Bryan SkinnerNick Rann

Other BBC Model B Game Reviews By Bryan Skinner


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