Personal Computer News25th August 1984
Published in Personal Computer News #075
Pass The Castle
Fancy being a bird or a fly in an arcade/adventure game? Unusual perhaps, but that's the scenario in this game.
You've been deposed from your lordly position as King of Hassle Castle by your arch-enemy Rapscallion the Rogue. You've got to regain your rightful place by overcoming Rapscallion and getting your name back on the title deeds.
There are seven screens of information before you get started, but the skip function lets you jump straight into the game.
The starting screen has you imprisoned in the dungeon by the Rogue, until the Fairy Princess enters and magically transforms you into a bird, to help you get revenge on your captor. She also grants you six lives in your new incarnation. You start off in the Wilderness, and to get to the Magic Labyrinth you have to find the pixies who will help you by gifts of the magic eye, or key. Random diamonds give you clues as to their whereabouts. If you master the Labyrinth there's still the Castle to contend with - plenty of variety here.
Each location has a rectangular boarder with anything between two and nine exits and entrances. Moving left from The Dungeon you enter The Body Crusher where a spiked bar moves up and down, making an exit to top left tricky. It's a good idea to find a source of sparks or fire as soon as possible, because these speed you up and make it easier to avoid some of the nastier hazards - but avoid letting things drop on your head as this will slow you down.
If you make it under the Crusher you'll find yourself in Target Practice, with two soldiers taking pot-shots at you - one way to avoid being potted is to change into a fly as soon as you enter, which costs you a life and presents you with a difference set of hazards.
If you do get hit, you metamorphose into a ghost, and are then free to wander round the rooms without risk, but gaining valuable knowledge about the relative positions of the rooms. To regain your body you locate the ghost over your dead self, then press the character change key, one or zero.
Bug-Byte has produced a very clever game. Although each screen is a bit bare, there are many of them - and some are extremely difficult. The diamond and pixies are randomly placed each time you play, so while you might learn the room layouts fairly quickly, you'll still have to dodge about to collect the essential ingredients for a successful attack on the Rogue. Recommended.