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Magnetic Scrolls/Rainbird, 24.95 (Amiga)

Corruption The name Magnetic Scrolls is on all adventurous lips of late. It seems that every column one turns to is paying homage to Anita Sinclair and Co. This is no bad thing as the company is one of the best in its field. However, it does accentuate the lack of new adventure software currently being released. Like starving dogs grabbing at a piece of bone some kindly person has tossed their way, adventure-hungry people will snap up Magnetic Scrolls' latest game.

Corruption - a deviation from the standard adventure scenario is made up fraud, deceit and sabotage. Taking the part of Derek Rogers you begin your first day as a new partner to David Rogers. The office you're given is nothing to write home about, comprising of tatty furniture and a musty atmosphere. As he shows you round, David senses your disapproval but says nothing. Telling you to feel free to ask him anything, he leaves you alone to settle in; your office adjoins that of your secretary's through which is accessed the all-important corridor.

Exploration of the office building reveals a non-functional lift, a reception area, boardroom, dealings room and the accountant's office. Most areas are occupied by characters with which interaction is recommended. Barbara, the cleaning lady, invites suspicion as she wanders freely around the building but rarely seems to actually clean anything. The accountant is only too happy to talk and answer your questions as long as David Rogers is not in the room. Your own secretary is a bit of a school ma'am prim, proper and efficient unlike David's who is a stereotype dumb blonde. David himself is always rushing off somewhere and why does his secretary take early lunches?

Outside a map for which is provided with the packaging is your favorite restaurant where you have a lunch appointment with your wife, Jenny. Across the busy (and potentially deadly) road is the park inhabited by a tramp, whose actions are odd to say the least. The police station is nearby, a place which may be best avoided until you have a clearer picture of what is going on and while you're out, why not poop into the local chemists and maybe buy something for the weekend?

Corruption Corruption is the kind of game one has to play again and again to get anywhere. Basically THEY are out to get you and gain information at any cost being in the right place at the right time is a must. This may only be achieved by playing various stages of the game in different ways to discover who goes where to do what and why.

This is Rob Steggles' second game for Magnetic Scrolls (his first being The Pawn) and he is reported to be very interested in public reaction as the plot is not a typical adventure storyline.
The mechanics of Corruption are of the now-expected high standard, complete with beautifully detailed graphics which are great to look at but contradict the text. Characters and objects which are no longer described as present in the current location remain on the screen in the graphics window. This is incredibly niggly of me to mention but I did find the picture content odd. The parser is at least as effective as in other Magnetic Scrolls adventures, although communication with characters is limited to asking or telling them about something or someone. The packaging comes complete with a casino chip (wow), Filofax-style notes and map and an audio cassette tape which requires your attention at certain points in the game.

Corruption may not appeal to hardened sword-wielding swash bucklers, but nonetheless I recommend it to all.

Zzap! Issue 41, September 1988, p.p.44-45