Micro Mart26th September 1991
Published in Micro Mart #152
Les Manley In Search For The King
The latest graphic adventure game to hit the scene, from Accolade, is one with some novel twists and impressive settings. On first sight it appears to be a recreation of Leisure Suit Larry in both presentation and humour, but not having cryptic puzzles as in most Sierra products. With the normal input and execution features, text - via keyboard with an assortment of words to aid progress, LOOK, OPEN, PICK, USE - you will soon find the parser is extremely intelligent and some good interaction between characters within the plot can be made.
The main character walks throughout and this is controlled by either mouse or cursor. The animation/graphics are by far the best we have seen in a game of this description and its storyline exudes appeal.
The game is based around one of the most famous men of our time. Millions believe him to be the greatest entertainer of all time. Millions more, it seems, are willing to capitalise on his fame. TV station "WILL" is out to gain audience attention by capitalizing on the latter. Now you, as Les Manley, working at the said station, must search for The King in order to win the heart if your boss's beautiful secretary and a $1 million prize offered by WILL's extremely cynical promotions department.
You start off the game in your small untidy office (or the hole in the wall, as it seems). Picking up everything you can find, i.e. your lunch bag and thermos, etc. A quick peek at your calendar and you will find your next clue... As you walk around the building, you will notice a fountain by a locked door, don't forget to fill your flask!
Walk into your boss's office and look at his desk. Note the bunch of keys (the ones to the locked door maybe!). If you cannot get them, try to distract your boss. Now you have the keys, you can go back to the locked door, open the door and search the tool box - another clue...
When you leave the building, look at everything and pick up all that is not nailed down. You will interact with many strange people, listen to what they have to say as their clues will lead you to the King. You will meet a variety of people including Luigi, the World's Strongest Man, who resides at the circus.
Sit back and enjoy the entertainment while you are there. Also meet Helmut, the World's Smallest Man, he is so small he could fit into your pocket... try it! You too could go places (even Las Vegas, the place that makes any circus seem like an afternoon in the library). When you come out of buildings you are given a plan view of the area including the local bar, etc, you then choose your destinations. And so the story goes on and on...
At the finale of the game, when you have completed it properly (finding the resurrection card), you will be treated to an animated story on how you find The King and your proof on finding him... Plenty of scenarios go into making up this unusual tale and you will even be placed in the shoes of the King but only as an impersonator and here you find that your efforts are not well received by people.
Les Manley In Search For The King has over 70 bitmapped screens, and comes on five disks of what must be mostly graphics which goes into making this an appealing game, although it cannot be placed in the same class as a Sierra production.
A game filled with engaging puzzles and mysteries but subtlety is not apparent and clues and success become second nature even if you are unsure! Excellent design, sequentially well laid out, but I didn't really know what I was doing until the end and by then I had completed it!