Magnetic Scrolls Collection logo

Virgin * £29.99

Three classic adventures have been gathered together, but they are not just re-issues of old text only games, but total re-workings. Now they all use the new Magnetic Scrolls 'window' adventure system that got its first outing in Wonderland (AF24, 70 per cent). Fish, Corruption and The Guild of Thieves are the games in question and they suit the new system well.

Fish is an off the wall sort of adventure, that was originally designed by none other than AF regular Phil South. It gathered a cult following during its run first time out and it really benefits from this system, as it brings a great graphic level to the whole affair.

Corruption is a tale that now feels a little dated, starring yuppies, Porsches and wine bars. The story is still as good as ever though, setting up a tale of dirty dealing in the City. It is filled out with a few notes from a Filofax and a tape. Neat extras that make the game finishable.

Guild of Thieves uses a more traditional setting, a fantasy world, where all the usual magic and fun are on offer to brave seekers of the truth.

The new system employed by Magnetic Scrolls is a shot in the arm, but it has limitations. It allows windows to be opened for the compass, the graphics, the text and map simultaneously. The downside is speed but adventurers have not traditionally worried about that. As a re-masters edition the Collection brings Eighties text games into the Nineties graphic age. At the price anyone who fancies some classic adventures to twist their mind up with logic puzzles should give a try.



Magnetic Scrolls Collection logo

Eine ganze Seite für eine einzelne Compilation, das war noch nie da. Aber wir hatten es Euch ja ausdrücklich versprochen. Und außerdem war auch so eine Sammlung noch nie da - drei der besten Adventures aller Zeiten präsentieren sich in komplett neuem Look!

Daß die Mannen um Anita Sinclair mit den Spielen "The Guild of Thieves", "Corruption" und "Fish" drei der ganz großen Klassiker im Abenteuergewerbe auf dem Gewissen haben, braucht man alten Hasen nicht erst groß zu erzählen.

Daher nur ganz kurz für alle "Jung-Kamickel" unter Euch: Bei der Diebesgilde geht es einfach darum, in ebendiese aufgenommen zu werden; dabei stößt man natürlich auf ein paar Hindernisse, vor allem, weil man das Handwerk ja erst noch Lernen muß! Der zweite Meilenstein ist ein Krimi in der korrupten Welt der Aufsteiger und Karrieremacher.

Man schlüpft in die Rolle eines Londoner Yuppies, dem irgendjemand ans Leder will, und muß herausfinden, wer dieser unangenehme Unbekannte sein könnte. Ganz ausgefallen wird's schließlich bei Abenteuer Nr. 3:

Man übernimmt den Part eines Goldfisch-Geheimagenten (Grüße an Mr. Pond...) und absolviert zunächst drei kleine "Übungs-adventures", ehe es den "The Seven Deadly Fins", einer Verbrecherbande der besonders schlüpfrigen Art, an die Schuppen geht.

Für die Neuauflage hat man die Benutzeroberfläche der Games einer Generalrenovierung unterzogen und ihnen das geniale System aus "Wonderland" spendiert. Dank "Magnetic Windows" läßt sich nun alles ganz komfortabel per Maus bedienen, alternativ dazu kann man auch im reinen Textbetrieb arbeiten - mit einem Parser, der einen wirklich versteht!

Die einzelnen Fenster für Text, Grafiken, Inventory, Kompaß, etc. können nahezu beliebig vergrößert, verkleinert und auf dem Bildschirm verschoben werden; die wichtigsten Verben und Kommandos sind bequem über Pulldown-Menüs zu erreichen, und auch sonst wurde in jeder Hinsicht auf größtmögliche Benutzerfreundlichkeit geachtet. Ein Beispiel dafür ist die praktische "Items in the Room"-Funktion, mit der man Gegenstände auf einfachste Weise nehmen, benutzen, genauer anschauen oder ins Inventory "rüberziehen" kann.

Aber die tolle Benutzerführung ist nicht der einzige Unterschied zu den Ur-Versionen: Es sind ein paar Grafiken hinzugekommen, außerdem gibt es jetzt gelegentlich auch kleine Animationen - dafür fehlen die hübschen Titelbilder von damals.

Schlechte Nachrichten haben wir für die Sound-Freaks, denn die schönen Titelmusiken und die Sprachausgabe sind endgültig Geschichte. Aber Schwamm drüber, die Rätsel sind knackig und originell wie eh und je, und auch am Humor der (englischen) Texte hat sich nichts geändert.

Dank des vernünftigen Preises und der überarbeiteten Aufmachung ist die Magnetic Scrolls Collection ein rundum ideales Abenteuerpaket: Für Neu-Amigianer ideal zum Kennenlernen, für Oldies die ideale Gelegenheit, um Versäumtes nachzuholen... (mm)



Magnetic Scrolls Collection logo

If you thought adventure games had gone out with the advent of the blitter, think again. What is more remarkable about this package than any of the game it contains is the window and menu system it uses. The functions embedded in the system are normally the domain of expensive desktop software suites. Assuming you have one meg, then, you can now spend more time playing the same move in a myriad of possible ways than the weeks it would previously have taken to finish Fish, Corruption and Guild of Thieves.

These games first appeared in traditional graphic adventure format, with key illustrations displayed above a text display and > interpreter that threatened to reply "You cannot see the south here" every time you typed in a command. Using the windows system the company developed for the overblown Wonderland (as in the one Alice trashed), you can make moves by moving icons, clicking a pointer menus of key commands or typing them in. ("You cannot see the south here"). It is a revolution. Magnetic Scrolls, who first found fame with The Pawn and its Infocom-beating parser implementation, now give us a whole bunch of reasons to spontaneously combust in awe of their cleverness.

Guild of Thieves was their second release and it's good to see it again, dressed up or otherwise. It's the only game that has ever really managed to get the concept (apologies to Pseuds' Corner for using the word) of thieving into a game and make it fun. As you try to prove yourself to a town's most discreet brotherhood, you're drawn into a veritable den of iniquity, whatever one of those is. And the ensuing plot unravels faster than knuckles crack when they're caught in a till. There's a high humour quotient and some of the punchlines are good enough to steal for yourself. This stuff is well above second rate.

Fish boasts another first. If you've never played an adventure set entirely in one of those plastic castles that look so natural in the bottom of a goldfish bowl, you've never played Fish. Yes, only you, a humble goldfish, can rescue your underwater world from a gang of extraordinary aquatic adversaries known as The Seven Deadly Fins. Extremely silly adventure games have been tried before but most of them have been trying. The problem with Fish is that some of it is just so totally hatstand - quite often the stumpers seem either pointless or wasted, occasionally unfair. Still, in my book it's a damn site funnier and more playable than James Pond. You'll have a good laugh at the puns, too. I'd make one here but it ain't my plaice.

Weakest of the games is Corruption. Your character is a budding yuppie and the plot seems to involve little more than a succession of lessons in humourless disillusionment. I'm afraid I found it less than captivating and certainly isn't the kind of thing you should think about begging into if you get easily paranoid.

Still, anyone who's ever enjoyed an adventure game will lap up Fish and Guild of Thieves at least. Even if adventure games usually turn you catatonic from four hundred yards, they've rarely been more playable than the examples here, and the new display system makes them more accessible too. They're all notoriously difficult to complete too. Neat.