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The Lost Ruby
Wrightchoice £3.95 Nov 1987 YS23
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Mike Gerrard
How I don't know if this is true or not, but the story behind The Lost Ruby is that in 1891 Queen Victoria hid a ruby somewhere on the Isle of Wight, and though hundreds of people searched the island, the jewel was never discovered. When the Queen died, ten years later, the secret of the ruby's location died with her. If it is true... where's my bucket and spade and who's for a weekend in Cowes?
    True or not, it's an interesting setting for an adventure, so it's a shame that this is the first disappointing release from Wrightchoice. It's no disaster, but it's certainly no jewel. Most of the locations are real place names from the Isle of Wight, like Cowes, Ryde, Ventnor and so on, with all the little villages in between. You start at Sandown carrying some small change, 80p if you count it, but could I find an ice-cream man, just when I fancied one? An ice-cream that is. Could I heck as like!
    You wander round the sights on the island, and try to find something to do. Finding a pass to get into places like the Castle and the Country Park helps. Using it, is a pain though. The fact that you're carrying the pass isn't enough, you must SHOW PASS as well. Then it's OK to ENTER ROBIN (The Robin Hill Country Park, the program won't accept ENTER PARK). Inside here and faced with east and west exits, I went WEST and was back outside the park again. Right, ENTER ROBIN, "You need a pass." Aargghh!
    Not a downright disaster, as the problems can be solved, and the inclusion of helpful features like VERBS and NOUNS commands to show you most of the vocabulary available is welcome. There's WORDS/PICTURES and a SAVE to RAM option as well, but it would need a real ruby at the end of the quest to make me persevere with this one, when there are dozens and dozens of better adventures around.

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   Sinclair User  4/10   
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