Magic Castle

Producer: Gilsoft
Memory required: 48K
Retail price: £5.95
Language: Machine code
Author: Graeme Yeandle

Magic Castle is one of the earliest adventures written with The Quill and the game has been on the market before the advent of the Gold Collection. It is a rare adventure in that it has an incredibly short intro storyline, ‘You have to rescue the Princess who is imprisoned in the Magic Castle.’ Very mythical! Surely knights of yore like to know at least the name of the Distressed?

The program accepts commands of verb/noun form, which is briefly explained, and then it’s ‘Good Luck — you’ll need it!’ Having said this, the game deposits you at a bend in a road where you see a pair of mittens and a sign saying, ‘Beware of Boobytraps.’ Ominouser and ominouser...

CRITICISM

‘Gilsoft certainly seem to have a consistently high standard of adventures, and Magic Castle is no exception. ‘Beware of Boobytraps,’ means exactly what it says — I was despatched to hell within the first few moves. If you manage to avoid sudden death there is plenty to do, wandering around forests and railway lines picking up objects in your attempt to save darling Princess. I must admit I didn’t manage to get into the castle — something bit me, I felt queer... I was dead again!’

‘Graeme Yeandle is very sparse with his descriptions but his humour is lethal. He also expects your movements to be sparse and well planned. If not you begin dying of thirst or exposure before getting to pick up that drink, or the warm clothing you omitted to carry with you. All this and traps too, make for a lot of work before reaching the castle itself.’

‘I felt the descriptions could have been more atmospheric, and I thought the boobytraps gave you no way out once I’d stepped into them. This is an aspect of adventure games not often developed very far — without much warning you’re dead. It could be fun to find yourself in a deadly position in which the next move will kill you if it isn’t the right one. Otherwise Magic Castle is a good standard adventure that nevertheless has some oblique solutions to problems, keeps you busy and is well worth the money.’

COMMENTS

Response: instant
Graphics: text only
General rating: good.

Use of computer80%
Playability70%
Getting started76%
Addictive qualities75%
Value for money80%
Overall76%

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