Adventure Trail

CLAMBER up the tree and DELVE into the nest

Reviewing adventure games is not a simple matter when compared to arcade games. For one thing, it takes a lot longer to do a game justice and the reviewer’s own prejudices can bear more upon an adventure. Leaving aside the fundamental text vs graphics, the vocabulary a game accepts can either reassure or perversely cloud the reviewer’s conscience.

Some adventurers have GET, others TAKE and some have both. Some use ENTER, and others GET IN, some GO object as in GO DOOR. Some adventures have tried to establish, and keep to, a standard or a reasonably uniform use of words. Others have entered the market with little prior knowledge of what is the vogue.

My opinion has changed in order to fall in line with the consensus. I at first viewed GET and GO DOOR as crude but now accept these expediencies both for their ease of use and more importantly, for the simple reason that many good adventures use them, and therefore many seasoned adventurers will approach a new game expecting to be able to use them unless the cassette packaging expresses some substitutes.

Dollarsoft have produced some games that display many aspects that lead me to the belief that they either haven’t consulted the rest of the adventure market or have done so and rejected much of what they have found. Their adventures are strange but Black Tower, it has to be said, is original.

Adventurers, judging by the mail I receive, do not dedicate their computer time to just one adventure and its problems, but have many on the boil at one time. This suggests to me that, as far as vocabulary is concerned, a few familiar commands might help ease the explorer into the adventure and any original or non-standard features should be clearly marked on the packaging.

A game that reduces me to a swearing moron all because its hallowed maker assumes my idea of an adventure is to match the first phrase that came into the author’s head... well, that game will not endear itself to me, even if it be Sherlock itself.