Does the thought of wandering alone through a deep, dark, dungeon fill you with the urge to wet your armour and shout for your mum? You're not alone! Fortunately, the good old Bitmap Brothers have come up with the wimp's alternative: Cadaver.
Yes, I know it is a silly title, and no it isn't some form of rhyming slang. It is however, an excellent graphic adventure. Produced in the - now familiar - 3D isometric format (in the style of Treasure Trap) and for those people with very long memories, the Ultimate series on something called a Spectrum.
Fortunately we've come a long way since the days when everything was in one colour and the sound was enough to make you turn the game off. Cadaver is a fine example of the state of the art.
It's based upon the continuing adventures of Karadoc. Fancy calling a kid that. Some people, honestly!
Anyway, your mission and indeed his, is to explore Castle Wulf, dealing the objects, monsters and people you meet on your travels, as well as the numerous puzzles which need to be solved before you encounter the final task, namely, killing the evil necromancer Dianos. Familiar scenario for adventure freaks?
What Cadaver lacks in originality, it more than makes up for in real quality. The action takes place in the 3D dungeons, rooms and passages of Castle Wulf and Karadoc is moved around this little world with a joystick (as indeed are all his functions).
If you want to pick up an object, move Karadoc next to the required item. This activates a number of icon options relevant to that particular object, you can then pick it up, use it, drink it, examine it and so on, depending on the icons activated.
Certain icons however, cannot be picked up and may only be pushed, dragged or used in the room in which they were found. There are a large number of icons which become available depending upon the item being used and the situation Karadoc is presently involved in. This can make interaction with both characters and objects quite complex and also makes for some interesting puzzles.
Many items can be found on your travels and these fall into four broad categories, the first being food and drink.
Food is usually found in chests and drink usually in barrels, but be careful, always examine what's in the barrel before you guzzle it down.
The second category is best described as a collection of utilities, items which are needed to proceed in the quest, such as keys, ropes, weapons and so on.
The third section consists of magical items, and these can be weapons, healing potions, and various spells for more abstract uses such as learning what certain potions may be used for.
The Main Screen is the window to Karadoc's world, it displays your present position in the game, giving all the details you need to know concerning Karadoc and the items he finds.
There's a rucksack which, in the interests of safe keeping, stores all your goodies. They can be viewed as a whole, or scrolled individually.
In the first room of the adventure you'll find a personal log book. Examining it provides details on your health, score, and the percentage of completion of the present level.
A map is activated by pressing F1 and the result is a display of the rooms you've entered. Maps can be scrolled and zoomed at will.
Up to 10 individual quests can be saved via a separate disk and loaded as required, however there is a price to be paid.
The further you progress in the quest, the more money a subsequent save will cost. There is some good news, at least loading is free!