Complete Guide to Spectrum Games – Part 6

No time for an intro this time, folks – I’ve got to finish reviewing all these games before the 2012 comet wipes us all out. Let’s roll!

AdventurerProxima Software, 1991

Well, this is a great start, isn’t it? Facing a badly-drawn brick wall (I mean, how hard do you have to be trying to mess up a brick wall? Seriously. Even I can draw a brick wall, and I can’t even draw a stick man right. Look at those bricks, they’re all different shapes. That wall’d never stay up with that kind of workmanship. I just hope I’m not inside a house or something.)

Right, so it’s a first person dungeon crawler then. And I appear to be naked apart from some leopard-print pants, and unarmed apart from a leaf. Clearly, I’m doomed. Might as well have a wander about and see what I can find that’ll kill me. Wait, what’s this?

I found this lying around on the floor. I’ve no idea what it is. Is it a ping-pong bat with a laser sight? Is it a wind-up balloon? Perhaps it’s some sort of medical device? Using the magnifying glass icon revealed the following telling description:

I’m doomed. Still, keep wandering, keep wandering… Oh, what’s this?

A set of bellows? One of those bats for waving at landing aeroplanes? A banjo? No! It’s…

Yeah… I don’t think I’m going to get very far in this game. It’s a shame, because it is very well-presented, although moving around using an icon system is frankly tiresome, and drops the score a little. Toffee apple out of ten.

Adventurer’s NightmareWicosoft, 1983

Oh bugger, it’s in German. And has four full pages of indecipherable instructions. Still, I’ll soldier on, so long as it’s not a text adventure…

And thankfully it’s not. It’s some kind of Tempest-like shoot-’em-up, where little dots shoot at a big yellow circle, and strange black birds fly around. It’s also a game where all the in-game text is, bizarrely, in English. It’s also not very good. Eins out of zehn.

Adventures In The Lost ValleyMegasoft, unknown

Now there’s a title screen to strike fear into the hearts of men, eh? But! It gets worse… It’s a text adventure. Oh god, didn’t I suffer enough last time? What did I do to deserve this? Ah well, at least this one clears the screen before starting the game…

But wait! It’s not all bad. For example…

On the other hand, this is how my first game ended (having taken off my shoes again to put on some boots I’d just found).

And look – ‘tomorrow’ is mis-spelt. Tch. I’m torn – not since Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu have I been gypped by a game I wanted to like so badly. There’s only one score I can possibly give it – Nike out of Clarks.

Adventures Of Barsak The DwarfGilsoft, 1984

It’s another text adventure.

It’s a text adventure in which I died of starvation after 17 turns. Next.

The Adventures Of Brian The BoldCentral Solutions, 1985

It’s another text adventure.

It’s a text adventure that doesn’t recognise ‘L’ as a shortcut for ‘LOOK’, and beeps a couple of times after every command, whether it’s recognised or not. Moving swiftly on…

Adventures Of BuratinoCopper Feet, 1993

Y’know, there’s a lot to be said for the Romans. When they went around conquering all of Europe, they probably didn’t realise it at the time but they were in fact doing me a huge favour. Y’see, with all the Roman territories using the same alphabet, it meant that a couple of thousand years later I’d be able to blag my way through European Speccy games. Sadly the Romans didn’t conquer Russia, and I’m left with five pages of indecipherable text.

It’s really, really annoying, because once I’ve got the game itself started, it’s a bright, colourful and smooth adventure game that reminds me of Don Priestly’s stuff. It moves and looks fantastic, and there’s some sort of simple menu-system for handling items. If only I could understand what the heck was going on, eh?

The Adventures Of Sid SpiderDavid Pegg, 2002

Wouldn’t load, and I couldn’t be bothered to get another copy. It’s probably a text adventure, anyway. What’s that? I’m obliged by the Advertising Standards Authority to provide the promised review of every Speccy game ever? Bah. Alright then, I’ll go get it…

There. Happy now? It’s a puzzle game. Each level is a single screen with some colour-coordinated doors and keys, and you have to puzzle your way through them. It’s straightforward enough for the first three levels, which is all I can be bothered to try at the moment. It’s the first game of the day I don’t have any complaints about, anyway, which is an achievement of sorts, and I might well go back and give it a proper review later (since it seems to have been released while we were on a little bit of a hiatus).

The Adventures Of St BernardCarnell Software, 1983

So I’m a dog, then? And I have to rescue somebody? Okay. At least this is something a little different. Let’s get moving…

Hey, what’s that?

It’s another dog. He doesn’t look too friendly, being pure black and all.

Crikey. He’s so close he’s absorbing the colour from my arse.


Oh, by the way – your dog accelerates at the same rate as a fat man on a hill, ie not at all. So there’s no way to escape the other dog. (Sigh.)

Well, I don’t know what I did to deserve that pile of crap (apart from Adventures of Buratino, which was just unplayable rather than crap). But at least that’s all of the ‘Adventure’s out of the way (if not all of the adventures, if you see what I mean). Next! Adversary to African Seeds.


  1. Hmm, you’re predicting the end of the world based on what Wikipedia says. Probably not the best point of reference for future events, unless Madam Pico has started contributing.

    I particulary like this one:
    “Terence McKenna’s mathematical novelty theory suggests a point of singularity in which a great number of things could happen, including ‘hyperspatial breakthrough’, planetesimal impact, alien contact, historical metamorphosis, metamorphosis of natural law, solar explosion, quasar ignition at the galactic core, or nothing.”

    Talk about covering your back.

    btw, that “weapon” in Adventurer looks like a feather. Presumably you’re supposed to tickle your enemies to death, or something.

  2. Wonder what fool put that idea in your head…

    “Great reviews here’s to a long life (although it seems the world will end in 2012) so i can carry on reading these pearls of wisdom and humour D.F”

    …Oh i,ll get me hat…

  3. See? It’s all David’s fault. I was all set for the long haul, but what with my recurring dreams and all that clear evidence on Wikipedia, well – only a fool would plan things for 2013, eh?

    And Terence McKenna must be a great laugh to hang out with:

    “Hey, Terry! Any idea what the weather’s going to be like tomorrow?”
    “It’ll be sunny, or cloudy, or there’ll be some form of precipitation, or it’ll be foggy, or it’ll be freezing, or it’ll be raining cats and dogs, or there’ll be a tornado, or there’ll be a supernova. Or it’ll be mild with occasional showers.”

  4. “He’s so close he’s absorbing the colour from my arse” may well be the funniest sentence ever.

    PS. I haven’t posted any comments for a while. This is no reflection on the excellent qualities of Your Super Soaraway YS3, but merely because some fool[1] moved the RSS feed to an obscure folder in my feed reader thingy and I didn’t see any updates for ages. All fixed now.

    [1] ie., er, me.

  5. I know the post is over a year ago but I have to agree with Duncan Snowdon….

    ““He’s so close he’s absorbing the colour from my arse” probably is the funniest thing I seen on a game review ever.

    Still chuckling now 🙂

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