Your Spectrum
Issue 10, December 1984 - Adventures
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Avid adventure fanatics Peter Shaw and Dave Nicholls get to grips with Eureka, Hampstead and Peter Pan. And if you're lost, stuck or just plain suicidal in adventure-land, phone for the YS Adventure Helpline ...
This month, I bring you details of Domark's first game - Eureka. Yes, this is the one that has the £25,000 prize tagged on to its rear-end (check out the ads this month). The game wasn't supposed to be available until the 31st October - magazine editors being no exception. On the other hand, we here at YS always get those exclusive stories!
The game splits into five separate parts, each made up of an arcade game and an adventure. The former gets a pretty low rating in my book and probably wouldn't interest you adventure fanatics anyway. So no more about it, save the excruciating fact that you have to complete the arcade game before you can play each adventure. Yah boo sucks!
The aim of the fivesome is to present a potted history of our meagre planet - starting in Prehistoric times, working on through the Roman Empire, Medieval Britain, Germany during the second
£25K IN 48K
World War, and on into the future. Most of the locations you visit contain graphics and, although they use a slightly lower resolution than the ZX Spectrum allows for, they're very cleverly used. At only £14.95 this set's well worth an investment. Here are a few clues to help with the 'War' level.
The action begins in a cornfield (no, not that sort of action!) and from here you'll need to go south-east to find the RAF officer's uniform. When you get caught by the Germans in the village (which is inevitable) you get hauled off to Colditz and stuck in the cooler. Once out, finding your way around the camp isn't too difficult and there are only a few locations where the guards get nasty and throw you back in again.
To make a German officer's uniform you'll need the sewing kit, and that you'll find under the stage. To get an ID card you'll have to go through the secret passage in the chapel - there you'll find the blank card, plus rubber stamp and camera. To make the ID look genuine, you'll need to take a picture of yourself, develop the film, stamp the card - and then bring the pieces together with the MAKE command.
The rope, made from the traditional blankets, can be used to scale the drop below the window at the end of the dormitory, underneath which you'll find a pickaxe and crowbar.
Once out of Colditz, you'll find yourself in the village, but so far further progress has been very slow. However, I'm sure there'll be plenty of hints on all five games in the future ... watch this space!

England and Wales: Gary Smart (nnnn nnnnn) and Peter Marment (nnnn nnnnn). Scotland: Neil Mackintosh (nnn-nnn nnnn).


If you've extricated yourself from the magical grasp of Dieslowly the Wizard and beaten Bashenchopen the Troll black and blue and you're still driving around in a clapped-out Mark 1 Cortina and drinking pints of best down at the local, then Hampstead is the game for you.
You start off in your disgusting flat in north-west London watching '1-2-3' on TV (presumably you couldn't get any lower than that!). Having decided that life surely has more to offer, you begin to progress up the social scale - until you have satisfied all the requirements necessary to attain 'Hampstead'. The idea is that you'll be able to pass into said borough and be accepted by the other inmates. Requirements, of course, include such material possessions as a big car and house ... and you also need a good job, a nice wife (sexist devils!), and naturally you have to be seen in the right places wearing the right clothes.
The adventure comes in the now almost mandatory large plastic box that includes a 16-page booklet containing much of the background information that's necessary for social climbing.
Most of the puzzles are thoroughly logical (there's no using a toilet roll to open the large stone portcullis here!), and the few that aren't will be explained somewhere; exploring is very worthwhile. In fact, the problems are nicely graduated and the further you get, the harder it becomes to progress; the puzzles are also quite linear and each section has to be solved before social aspiration can
begin anew for the next. (For instance, you'll get nowhere without your dole money!).
All in all, Hampstead is an excellent adventure and a refreshing change from the usual dungeons-type affair ... it makes a worthy addition to any collection.
You'll have to progress from shandies to champers in Melbourne House's social climbing Hampstead.


Peter Pan is the first adventure - in fact the first game of any kind - from book publishers Hodder and Stoughton. The package includes a large plastic video box containing the cassette, a copy of the original book and a four-page introductory leaflet which explains the aims of the game and some of the more useful commands. Out of the retail price, a contribution is made to the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital as part of the 'Barrie Bequest' - a worthy cause indeed.
Peter Pan's format owes a lot to The Hobbit, with full screen
graphics and independent characters. There are, however, several differences - many purely technical but one in particular that centres around the actual solving of the adventure. Whereas in The Hobbit the average punter can do quite well without reading the book, in Peter Pan knowledge of the text is essential. So if like me you never quite got around to reading it (the sad indicator of a miss-spent youth) you'll find Tinkerbell dying with alarming regularity and a few other strange things happening besides!
On the technical side, one has to say that it drops below the 'Hobbit standard' on almost every count. The commands, like most other adventures, are single verb/noun pairs (with the exception of the SAY command which allows you to speak), and the input routine is slow - as is the response to commands. But PP does manage to serve up some very good graphics.
Actually, despite all the forgoing, I think Peter Pan really is a reasonable adventure ... it's just that it suffers from an overdose of bad programming. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but if you've read the book - or if you're one of those avid adventurers - you'll probably find it quite enjoyable.
PETER PAN screen
A Hobbit-like sortie into Never Never Land - but make sure you read the book first!
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