Games Computing

Monsters And Magic

Publisher: Interactive Software People
Machine: BBC Model B

Published in Games Computing #12

Monsters And Magic

The game is a strategic one and is written in BASIC. There are no apparent bugs. All in all the game is fair. This is, as the name suggests, a fantasy adventure game. Its one claim to be slightly different is that it involves some real-time action. The player adventures out from home base to roam about one of the two possible dungeons in the traditional manner (entering N, S and so on).

The initialising of the game allows a wide variation between contests since there are many variable factors. The player has a fair say in the role he will play. The choice is from Fighter, Magic - using Cleric, Thief or Ranger. These 'types' have characteristics such as strength, intelligence, dexterity, in different proportions. The player also has to choose from human, dwarves and elven races.

One hundred gold pieces are awarded to buy equipment from amongst a sword, dagger and magic staff, oh, and bow and arrows. Further payment gives the weapon magical qualities. Also available are the Gloves of Skill, the Potion of Healing, Bag of Holding, Boots of Speed, and rings of Protection and Resurrection. The latter is associated with a particularly humorous comment in the game: "Resurrected by the power of the ring but failed to survive the shock and died again"!

The strength, intelligence and dexterity attributes are randomly assigned and it is up to the players' choices to make the most of them.

There are also a number of spells associated with self-protection and healing which are assigned to the player, plus hit points (fighting ability) and an armour class (vulnerability). These come into play when the player meets up with a hostile being. Combat is entered in real time and the keyboard is the judge of whether you missed your strike (like in The Valley). There are numerous monsters to defeat and many difficult puzzles to solve.

The aim of the game overall is to return from your adventures, regain lost spells, sell treasure and achieve higher levels of character. Monsters And Magic takes the role playing game into new areas of complexity and although text only, can prove exciting in the challenge it presents. I think that more use could have been made out of the BBC's sound but nice exploitation of the function keys is made with command words like HIT, FLEE, SPELL, STATUS, being assigned to them for quicker response.