Your Spectrum
Issue 4, June 1984 - Frontlines
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Beyond has just launched three new games for the liddle 'ol Speccy, the first of which it reckons will take adventure players by storm.
It's called Lords of Midnight and, according to the description, it's not actually an adventure at all. but - rather - an 'Epic'. The idea is that, unlike other adventures. you don't need to restrict yourself to just one character and your routes are no longer dictated by the programmer in advance. This program knows where a given character is on the map, checks the direction he is facing and draws the whole scene, foreground to background, in perspective. Thus, every time you leave a location and return to it from a new direction, it'll be drawn again with a different background; and every time you move forward, distant peaks become mighty mountains and houses grow into great towers, flanked by forests. This is all made possible through (it's claimed) a new programming technique called landscaping which gives the program a possible 32,000 views.
The idea of the game is to gather armies from the various people you meet; you have to convince them to join you, but of course there are some who are simply enemies and must be destroyed. As the force splits to defeat the evil Witchking Doomdark you can see the dramatic happenings through the eyes of each character. There's an accompanying 32-page booklet which includes a map of the land and the game should retail for around £9.95.
The second game from Beyond is called Psytron, and in it you play the part of a computer (Psytron itself) which controls the massive Betula 5 installation - a sort of moonbase type set-up. The computer controls every aspect of the place, from defending the base against evil intruders to assessing everyone's oxygen needs and allocating food and work. The problem is that the base is being constantly attacked and bombed from the skies while saboteurs (of the three- legged canine variety) run loose underneath the floorboards. The aim of the game is to keep the base running, and all human life is expendable in order to maintain the mighty Psytron.
There are six levels and, according to the accompanying booklet, they've been carefully designed to take you through the game step-by-step; you mustn't overload your all-too- human mind.
You may be interested to know that level six has only one aim - to survive for half an hour! Beyond is challenging players to achieve this great feat and the reward is ... wait for it ... a QL. Obviously, the company's not expecting anyone to manage it for a while yet. Anyway, full details are in the pack. The game, by the way, sells for £7.95.
Last in the bunch comes Spellbound, where you take the part of a frog and attempt to race down the steps of the fortress before Griselda the witch catches you with her spells. Straightforward stuff it may be, but there are 12 levels of action to get through. Spellbound costs £5.95 and all Beyond's games should be available in your shops now.
Parker has moved into the home micro market with cartridges for use on the Interface 2.
Three of the five releases will be translations of arcade games: Popeye, Q*Bert and Return of the Jedi - Death Star Battle. Two others are completely new. Fresh from the arcades, Gyruss is a shoot 'em up with a new perspective. The pilot ship travels 360 degrees around the edge of the screen and the opposing marauders attack from the centre.
The final release is Star Wars - The Arcade Game which graphically re-enacts the destruction of the Death Star taken, of course, direct from the original film.
Parker hopes to have the games finished by June/July for release in August.
In Spellbound you must use your frog's legs to hop fast down those steps before Griselda puts a spell on you!
PSYTRON screen
Psytron's view of the Betula 5 installation. There's terror in the skies and under the floorboards.

For all of you who bought The Hobbit, avidly read the book, tried to play the game and were still confused, Melbourne House has published a new book that could well answer your prayers (or may alternatively bring on a few nightmares).
A Guide To Playing The Hobbit splits up into three sections. The first offers the reader a broad outline of the general strategies and tactics involved, and the second and third sections give an increasing amount of guidance and detailed solutions to the problems encountered while playing the game. Melbourne reckons that the guide won't spoil the fun of it all because the solution is only offered among many other possibilities.
The Hobbit may have won the Golden Joystick Award for 'Strategy Game of the Year' in 1983, but it's really saying something when companies have to publish the Guide to the Game of the Book just so that people can play it properly!
A Guide To Playing The Hobbit is published by Melbourne Rouse, written by David Elkan and costs £3.95; it should be available from bookshops now.
The powers that be at CCS have, in their ultimate wisdom, decided that girls don't want to play the same sort of games as boys; and based on this presumably unresearched piece of observation, the company's launched (as far as the feminist movement would be concerned) a highly dubious range of games for the fairer sex.
Hicksted/Mathsted is a show-jumping simulation of that well-known event of the same name - but here the maths version involves getting over the jumps only when the answers given are correct; could this one be for all budding Princess Annes?
Jungle Adventure involves the player taking the part of a young jungle girl making her way home through the trees, while Diamond Quest is quite simply an adventure game full of colour and
diamonds - which are, as we all know, a girl's best friend.
CCS describes the games as being less involved with killing monsters and more concerned with either bribing or avoiding them - traits which everyone knows to be thoroughly feminine. Well ... aren't they? Just to make sure we asked a fully paid up member of the female sex (a staffer) exactly what she thought of CCS's gender- orientated efforts. She said, "They were boring with no monsters; I didn't play any of them for long". She also admitted that what put her off most was the words on the packaging.
Anyway, if this seems to be your cup of ideologically unsound tea, Hicksted and Jungle Adventure retail at £6.00 each, Diamond Quest is £5.00. Further details from Case Computer Simulations Ltd, 14 Langton Way, Blackheath London 5E3 7TL.
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