already taken a preview peek at this game on the Atari
ST but now we've got the 64 version the Wiz can give
you the low low low-down. First let's do a bit of image
stripping so we can see what the game itself is actually
like. Magnetic Scrolls leaped into the headlines last
year with The Pawn - stupendous parser, brill graphics,
interactive characters, original scenario, new software
house (well almost), Rainbird marketing and multi-format
last two points are very significant - there are really
only four companies in the UK that have marketed their
games forcefully across all formats - Adventure International
(now defunct) Adventuresoft (via US Gold) Level 9 and
Melbourne House. Some might wish to include CRL, but
it only just scrapes in as it's not a dedicated adventure
house. Magnetic Scrolls is therefore a big fish - albeit
in a very small pool.
a lot of this media hype arose because of the strength
of the parser and the graphics. Journalists who would
never have been seen dead playing an adventure suddenly
went all ga-ga because of the pretty pictures. And the
parser meant that they could communicate with the game.
Therefore a whole legion of self-appointed adventure
reviewers sprung up proclaiming The Pawn to be the best
thing since sliced bread.
for us dedicated adventurers the real question has yet
to be answered - are these Magnetic Scrolls adventures
actually good games? Are they worth your £ 19.95,
or is 90 % of the satisfaction derived from just looking
at the pretty pics and entering PUT THE IVORY KEY IN
THE SWAG BAG AND THEN DROP THE POISON ON THE STEPS.
Wiz sat down to play Guild of Thieves with slight misgivings.
I wondered why this was and realised to my horror that
I hadn't actually enjoyed playing The Pawn very much.
Sacrilege! But although others will doubtless disagree,
I felt that it was just a bit pretentious. It had some
gread puzzles, but the scenario was a bit odd . . .
well let's say I found it a bit - gulp - dull!
you're wondering why there should be anything good about
sticking to traditional themes instead of inventing
startling new plots, the answer is that the very structure
of adventure programs revolves heavily around locations
and objects. It makes sense therefore to have a scenario
that rewards the discovery of locations and objects
with good solid points! So traditionalists will note
with glee the score counter constantly displayed at
the top of the screen (together with the number of moves
parser is once again magnificent. You can make a lot
of use of your good ol' swag bag for example. PUT ALL
EXCEPT THE LAMP IN THE SWAG GAB AND CLOSE IT will execute
rapidly and without difficulty. This means that playing
the game becomes an enjoyable exercise of the imagination,
rather than a battle of misunderstood words.
it came as quite a pleasant surprise when I found myself
getting very engrossed in Guild of Thieves. It may not
be as original or way out as some of the things we've
seen lately, but it's definitely shaping up to be one
of the Wiz's favourite games.
you move about you'll start to make use of another feature
of the parser - the GO TO command. Once you've visited
a location or EXAMINEd an object you can GO TO it from
another place. In the Golden Wheatfield for example
typing GO TO TEMPLE or GO TO STATUE will take you rapidly
through the intervening locations to the temple (where
the statue is).
are two points to note about the GO TO command. First
it can kill you if you're not careful. For example typing
GO TO TEMPLE in the Lounge will take you out of the
castle by way of the raised drawbridge and irate door
keeper - not a very good idea, and once you've entered
the command you can't take it back.
start off sitting in a boat in mid-stream with a representative
of the Guild. To gain admission to this august body
you must loot the surrounding countryside of all its
valuables. So unlike The Pawn we have here a very traditional
scenario - the good ol' treasure hunt.