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PALACE £24.99 * Joystick or Keyboard

Palace have enjoyed a good deal of success since their signing up of French software house Delphine, thanks to great games like Bio Challenge and Future Wars: Time Travellers. Now they have signed up another software house, Silmarils, and are hoping for more of the same.

Colorado is an icon-driven arcade adventure. You play the part of one David O'Brian, a trapper, womaniser and drunkard in the American South at the end of the last century. After an uncharacteristic act of bravery, you were rewarded with a treasure map which you believe will lead to the location of a lost gold mine.

The game is viewed side-on, for the most part, and the idea is to explore the land, solve mysteries and fight unfriendly Indians. You are armed with a gun, tomahawk and knife and fighting involves holding the fire button down and moving the joystick around - as you would expect. When in non-aggressive mode, you are in direct control of Dave and can decide where to go and what to do.

At the start of the game you are standing on a river bank having just climbed out of a canoe: a pathway heading off screen leads to adventure. Clues and objects found scattered along the way can be picked up and carried.

Once an area has been explored to your satisfaction and you wish to move on, simply jump into your canoe and enter an arcade game. As you paddle downstream you must avoid boulders, logs and unfriendly Indians before pulling at a new location. Wander around, solve the puzzles, and maybe in the end you will make it rich.

GRAPHICS AND SOUND

A very nice-looking game. The backgrounds are very well drawn, the sprites are nicely animated and the overall look of the game is good. The sound effects and music are not so memorable but they do their job perfectly adequately.

LASTING INTEREST

The problems and puzzles require quite a bit of thought and some of it lateral as they are not as logical as they might be. It will take a long time to solve, but fortunately the game will save your position every time you pitch camp.

JUDGEMENT

This could have been a lot better. The control of your character is awkward and frustrating which spoils the enjoyment. The basic game structure is not much more advanced than old Spectrum games like Pyjamarama and the thousands of similar games around in the early Eighties. Definitely one for those with immense patience and determination.