Mixed feelings about this detective game. It got off to a poor start but began to warm up a bit, though I've a feeling it won't take too long to polish off. The poor start? The very slow keyboard response and almost equally slow program response, so be prepared to do a lot of typing a I-e-t-t-e-r a-t a t-i-m-e I-i-k-e t-h-i-s.
Still, nice to see a game written by someone with his own adventure system, the someone being Colin Jordan, his system being called 'Worldscape'. The game looks like a cross between Hobbit and Urban Upstart, the nice character set being very Hobbit-like, and several of the responses and location descriptions reminded me of it.
Not that the story's remotely similar. You play the part of Frank Flukeit, a private investigator, and you and your accident-prone assistant, Blunders, must solve the mysterious disappearance of Professor Mundle, or Proffessor Mundle as the program spells him all the way through. Blunders adds another Hobbit-like touch, but instead of sitting down and singing about gold he keeps bumping into things and cursing to himself.
I was quite impressed by the 'Worldscape' system, which allows other characters to wander around, and allows you to talk to them in a variety of ways, and I've a feeling we'll see a much better adventure than this one written on it soon. Not that there's too much wrong with Flukeit as the marks indicate, though the graphics are pretty poor. Some of the problems are tedious rather than true teasers (so to speak), like at the beginning of the game when you crash the car and die if you try to drive it, but survive if you ask Blunders to read the map and do the driving for you. Unless you were miraculously able to swop seats after you'd got into the car, that's just a bit silly.
When you arrive at Radley Mansion there's plenty of exploring to do, heed the advice of the instructions and make a note of everything you're told otherwise you'll never get to the Mansion in the first place. Despite the arrival of two complete strangers in what's a new room to me, a 'kithchen', the cook goes about her business but be careful not to upset her as she'll suddenly clobber you senseless if you do, another complaint in a game with no RAM SAVE feature. Use the SAVE to tape option regularly. There's a b***** of a maze in the garden, where exits are changed - as you'll discover if you drop things to try to help you map it, and another drawback is that you have to type LOOK at each location when you revisit otherwise you only get a brief description which omits to remind you about things like trunks and suits of armour that are there.
Other than that, the problems kept me playing, there's much to enjoy, and I've a feeling this'll keep you occupied for a couple of evenings or so and you'll feel you've got your two quid's worth at the end of it.
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