Electronic Arts, Amiga (1 Meg only) £24.99
Taking an isometric viewpoint, Electronic Arts' The Immortal is a tale of swords and sorcery, of intrigue and joystick waggling. But most of all, it's about having 1 MEG of RAM. Either you have it – or you skip to the next review.
Basically, you play a wizard out to save your old master. He's trapped at the bottom of the multi-floored labyrinth. To get there you'll need to battle monsters, solve puzzles, sort out your friends from your enemies, juggle your inventory, dance around traps and catch a few zees inbetween.
You control your wizard character with a joystick, moving all eight directions of the compass. Fighting recalls those sordid beat 'em-ups cerebral types spit on (ain't that right kids?). Thus push the stick forward to jab, to the side to parry and so on.
Pressing the space bar brings up your inventory. You'll find lots of items during your travels, spells, gold, etc. It is here that spells are initiated. Move the cursor onto a spell scroll, press fire and you'll hurl a fireball (that can bounce off the walls for deflection shots, incidentally). Completing a similar action on any other object either prepares, uses or drops it. The design of the inventory is neat, efficient and speedy.
Sound effects are good, although I did get bored with the background song pretty quickly (there is an option to turn this off, though). The graphics are detailed and the animation is delightful. The designers have really taken heed of human motion.
Puzzles are varied, non-linear and, on occasion, real-time with a time-limit. Thankfully the manual is very helpful, giving hints and tips to get you into the atmosphere of the game. The plot is also intriguing. It twists and turns, as all good plots do, so you think you've got the game sussed only to find it'll spring a surprise upon you. For this reason, in addition to the puzzles, I'd recommend The Immortal to adventurers.
The only problem I encountered was with the combat section. When the wizard character changed his orientation/direction the action commands tended to change orientation with him. Of course, with practice you should come to grips with this but I felt the confusion unnecessary.
Gripe apart, I wholeheartedly recommend The Immortal. It's a classy product, breaching many gaming categories. Both adventurers and arcade fanatics will enjoy this one.
Zzap! Issue 68, December 1990, p.43