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Mediagenic/Microillusions, Amiga 29.99

Faery tale adventure Are you sitting comfortably? Wiped your noses? Rubbed away that nasty crufflenut? Then I'll begin. Once upon a time when the fields and rivers were uninhabited, and trolls could stomp on anyone they found, one Master at Arms decided to go and spoil it all. Somehow the talisman that had protected his village and his three sons (Julian, Phillips and Kevin) had got 'lost' and goblins, ghosts and skeletons were beginning to take over the town. It was going to be a real riot of a party corpses and mediums, there was even talk of billy-goat pie but the tightlipped old codger poured cold water on the whole thing and insisted on going for help.

Not that he's quite as smart as he makes out. He comes back with a death wound and a garbled story: an evil Necromancer is threatening to destroy the land and unless someone manages to perform seven consecutive quests, he'll never be defeated. Any sensible lad would think twice before going on an adventure like that. Unfortunately, Julian, Phillip and Kevin have all had a touch of too much of the sun, so they all want to go. Julian sets off first.

Faery tale adventure This is a graphical adventure (relying on the mouse) so a lot of Jazza's journey from home through the surrounding fields, forests and countryside, is spent fighting goblins or running away (told you he was a spoilsport). As ghosts and goblins are a lot more efficient in battle than some snotty-nosed kid, you probably won't get very far at first. Once you've notched up a few skulls though, you can start using some of the magic objects lying around, rummaging in boxes, spending money and casting spells you know, abracadabra, shazam, minzaguinness...

The menu doesn't let you perform anywhere near as many actions as a text-input adventure but you can still talk to people, trade with them, look for hidden objects and unlock doors. These put obvious limitations on the puzzle factor (what are you supposed to do without an EXAMINE icon?) so in the end most of the fun comes from the sound effects bogeying down to the music and the graphics: you can even see the bubbles when somebody drowns. Ah, Lunch.

If you like your adventures like your billy-goat (well-done and meaty) you might get a bit fed up of all this sightseeing. On the other hand, if you're patient, fancy yourself as a bit of a fighting machine (boy, you must have some imagination) and like making maps, you might want to give it a go. Question is should any adventure really cost 29.99? Don't ask me mine was free.
(Reviewed by Chuck Vomit (Fictional Gnome dreamed up by the Zzap! Crew))

Zzap! Issue 43, November 1988, p.p.32-33