Mindbender

Producer: Gilsoft
Memory required: 48K
Retail price: £5.95
Language: Machine code
Author: Paul Styles

Title Screen

Mindbender starts straight off after loading without any clear instructions as to what to do, or what is expected of you. You find yourself sitting in a small office pursuing the everyday tasks of your humdrum existence. There’s a phone, a desk diary and a quill pen (!). Opening the diary, you see a proverb for the day which says, ‘They who live longest will see most.’

Suffice it here to say, that after a few sensible moves, all becomes explained, and an instruction page appears informing you that you have become a victim of the Mindbender Machine. This is a powerful computer-controlled device which has fallen into the hands of a revolutionary group who aim to control the world by manipulating the thought patterns of the population. However, due to your incredible mental ability you have proved to be immune, which makes you an enemy of the rebels. Now you are to be thrown into their underground prison complex, and your avowed intent is to escape, and destroy the Mindbender Machine and save humanity.

This seems a little difficult to do when you find yourself stripped naked in a bare cell with a door and no handle...

CRITICISM

Mindbender is a text-only adventure but makes up for lack of graphics by being RAM packed with a dry sense of humour and a knowledge that a good adventure is one with a lot of things to do. And you don’t have to wait much beyond the teasing pre-instruction sequence to find action all the way, as you do find your way out of the cell in a most lethally surprising way. The exploration that follows is both extended and wittily exciting, but beware of reading the small print...’

‘The author has taken a risk with this adventure of kicking it straight off without an introduction. Still it is called Mindbender, so a little mental effort solves the problem and leads into to one of the most convoluted, entertaining adventures I have played in a while. The atmosphere is quite different from that of Africa Gardens, but it really works. Locations are easily moved between with a little care and thought, and this game does not suffer from a lack of things to do or places to get to. It effortlessly conveys the idea of using a lift (there are lots) with a sequence which tells you, the doors close... the doors open, and then tells you where you are. Like a good novel the action descriptions are to the point and very sudden. I was thrilled by the way I got out of the cell and past the first guard! Mindbender should provide hours of fun before the quest is solved, and at first it’s fun simply to explore and see the satirical use to which so many familiar things have been put. Excellent.’

COMMENTS

Response: instant
Graphics: text only
General rating: entertaining, complex and excellent value.

Use of computer87%
Playability92%
Getting started76%
Addictive qualities89%
Value for money85%
Overall86%

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