Backgammon Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

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Backgammon
By Hewson Consultants
Spectrum 16K

 
Published in Personal Computer News #018

Pass The Ouzo

Pass The Ouzo

There is no doubt that the best place to play backgammon is in a Greek taverna on a hot day with a generous supply of ouzo to hand, but due to a distinct lack of all three it is back to the trusty Spectrum to try and brush up on the game.

First Impressions

Backgammon from Hewson Consultants comes well documented, with four pages of instructions on the insert, both about the game in general and this version in particular. While the rules are necessarily brief, there is certainly enough information for the absolute beginner to learn how to play, though if you want to know about tactics too, you'll need to read up on the game.

In Play

This version is purely you against the Spectrum, which is preferable to sacrificing some quality just to enable two people to play - if you have a real opponent you should be using a proper board, not the TV screen. But within that limit, the menu presents you with four options: a single game, a points series of up to nine games, a gambling series at 10 per game, each player starting with 200, or finally a demonstration game.

p> On the right of the screen are the two large dice, while the information printed below the board shows the previous move as well as the current one.

If you make an invalid move the computer points out exactly what was wrong, and suggests the move you might have made instead, if that applies.

The counters are easily and quickly moved by inputting first the start point (lettered from A-Z) and then the number on the dice. In deliberately trying to crash the program or get away with an incorrect move, my opponent never behaved other than impeccably, letting me get away with nothing. It offers you eight levels of play, the response time on the highest being as instantaneous as the beginners' level.

Verdict

p> Given the confines of 16K, this is a good value game for those just learning Backgammon.

The operation is smooth and clear, with plenty of time to study moves.

But the more experienced player might prefer to look round for a tougher opponent - or book that holiday in Greece.

Mike Gerrard

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