CRASH Smash

WIZARD’S LAIR

Producer: Bubble Bus
Memory required: 48K
Retail price: £6.99
Language: machine code
Author: Steven Crow

The author of this game may sound familiar to CRASH readers because he also wrote a previous CRASH SMASH, Poppysoft’s Factory Breakout. This new game is nothing like the previous one — what it is inescapably like however, is Atic Atac and graphically at times like Sabre Wulf. So similar is the basic theme and graphic appearance, that accusations of copying are bound to fly, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a good idea and developing it, if the result is as good or better — and it remains to be seen what readers think of this.

Wizard’s Lair is an arcade adventure with 256 locations on seven levels which are interconnected by trapdoors and lifts. The story involves Pot Hole Pete who, while on a subterranean ramble, stumbles across the Wizard’s Lair, a place inhabited by numerous and various monsters of appalling speed and determination to kill. The overall object is to collect all the pieces of the Golden Lion. The screen view is that of Atic Atac, i.e. an overhead perspective view of each location with all its four walls visible. In a similar vein doors open and shut according to their own whim, although Pete may pass through some without hindrance. Some locations are described by Sabre Wulf-like vegetation, while others are drawn as caverns.

Game features include the collection of food for energy, weapons, gold, gems, keys and the bits of the Golden Lion. Now and again Pete comes across a spell scroll, but the spell can only be used if he possesses enough gold. The spell allows you to gain either more weapons, more energy, convert to gems, have more keys or magic rings. Each of the objects serves a function, and one of the game objectives is to discover what everything does. Across the top of the screen there is a score line and bar codes for energy, weapons and gold, while down the right side legends tell you how many lives you have left, and how many keys, rings and gems you have collected. Scoring is done as a percentage of the adventure completed, time taken, objects collected and, of course, pieces of the Golden Lion found.

Screenshot

A lower level of the caverns with stream and lake

Screenshot

One of the levels with line graphic 3D rooms

Screenshot

A mix of jungle and room — a lift stands in the top right corner

CRITICISM

COMMENTS

Control keys: 3 options are selectable being: O/P,Q/A,M or QWERT or 67890, and if you prefer, you can define the keys yourself
Joystick: Kempston, Protek, AGF, Sinclair 2
Keyboard play: very responsive, nice to have so many selections
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: excellent, fast and ultra-smooth
Sound: excellent
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 5
Screens: 256
General rating: an excellent arcade/adventure game which requires exploration and discovery. Very good value for money and highly recommended


Use of computer98%
Graphics94%
Playability94%
Getting started95%
Addictive qualities94%
Value for money90%
Overall94%

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