Amstrad Computer User1st April 1986
Published in Amstrad Computer User #17
This Mikro-Gen release was not written by the team responsible for the Wally series but by the programmers who wrote Roland On The Ropes for Amsoft. The result is a graphical adventure which is very different. from the Wally series with the accent more on action than on brainpower.
Your quest as Sir Fred is to rescue the King's daughter from the wicked Sir Hugh D'unnyt, not an easy task. Each time you play the game the princess is put in one of seven locations. The starting positions of the objects changes from game to game so you must modify your actions as you find the objects. A sword is essential to get past some of the guards. The bow and arrow is useful for dispatching some of the serfs, and you can choose from three angles of flight. The arrows are needed to flick some switches which you can't reach so don't waste them.
Sir Fred is a proper little action man, he runs, jumps, swings on ropes, swims through piranha-infested waters, indulges in sword fights and throws stones. He can carry up to four objects, some can be used only once, such as the food for energy, some can be used only a number of times such as the bow and arrows, and some can be used all the time, such as the sword.
You must be careful when picking up an object to move your selection pointer to an empty "pocket" or the object you pick up will destroy any you are carrying, something! found a little hard to cope with at first, trying to get some stones while being nibbled by a piranha, but it is easy enough to move the pointer before you enter a new location.
The emphasis is very much on action - running, jumping and swinging on ropes to get yourself catapulted over walls. The ropes are very difficult to master until you realise that Sir Fred must just flick himself to the outside of the rope on the upswing to get a little more height each swing, something that could be better explained in the insert.
Sir Fred has some degree of intelligence when you are controlling him. When you get to the top of a rope and press the down key he will turn and climb backwards a little way down the rope before you can continue. He will also conveniently climb out of the water when he gets to the edge.
You feel as if you are in control of a little person as he digs his heels in and skids as you try to stop him running. Sometimes the control is not as precise as you would want. If Sir Fred accelerates by you holding down a direction key too long, he can be slow to turn round, dug in heels and all, which can mean you can be catapulting him into danger.
The keys are definable, and apart from the direction keys you have one to select an object and one to use it. The graphics are fairly simple, with the only multicoloured things being the objects and characters. Nice touches are Sir Fred's eyes that blink. In the dark rooms a torch is essential, this casts a small pool of light, around Sir Fred and leaves the rest of the room in darkness.
The objects you find are fairly straightforward to use and are only necessary to allow you to get to other parts of the game, rather than be used to solve a puzzle, Throw the meat in the river to distract. the piranha, tempt the drunken boatman with the bottle of beer to get across the other river.
With 58 different game plans it should keep you very occupied, and as it is possible to complete some of them without seeing all the locations, you will be back for "just one more go".