the one we've all been impatiently waiting for, the game that
first appeared on the QL, then staggered everyone with stunning
graphics in its Atari ST version. At last it's been squeezed
(sadly minus the graphics) into a 128K Spectrum, though who
needs graphics when you've got lovely text to read?
includes a novella to set the scene and also act as an anti-piracy
device, the story being A Tale Of Kerovnia. This is the land
where you find yourself one day, having originally set out
just to do your supermarket shopping! A mysterious glance
from a mysterious stranger, a sudden blow to the back of the
neck and there you are waking up in a grassy clearing with
nothing but a pair of jeans and a shirt ... and what's this?
covering your forearm? That wasn't there before. The aim of
the game is to escape from Kerovnia, and removing that mysterious
wristband will no doubt have some part to play in this if
you read the signs properly.
from the lengthy text, The Pawn has gained its notoriety (and
various 'Adventure-of-the-Year' awards) by its complexity,
clever interaction between the player and other characters,
and its sense of humour. There are many people you'll meet
wandering round Kerovnia, such as Honest John (Kerovnia's
Arthur Daley), King Erik, Kronos the Magician, an adventurer
riding a horse and a guru who's highly amused by something
about you. You should soon be able to stop him laughing, though,
and when you do you'll be set one of the sub-quests that make
up the adventure, which can be played in various ways.
the quest that Kronos sets you leads to all kinds of trouble,
and you'd be advised to ask everyone about everyone to discover
who can be trusted and who can't. One complaint about the
game is that some of the problems are devious above and beyond
the call of adventuring, while others are blindingly simple,
and some machine versions haven't been totally bugless either,
though I've yet to encounter one in playing this conversion.
Despite a few quibbles, this is the first adventure that'll
give Speccy owners a hint of what it's like to play an Infocom
game, so buy this.
are a few of the people you'll meet around Kerovnia:
offers you a simple task to deliver a sealed note to
King Erik of Kerovnia, but if the task's so simple and
Kronos is a magician then why is he asking a lost adventurer
like you to do it for him?
travelling salesman, who'll sell you iron rations, whiskey
distilled by the Roobikyoub tribe of dwarfs, silver
armour, spring water or even a bottle of Farthington's
is shaven-headed, wears an orange rode and sits cross-legged
on the floor of his hut on top of a hill. Unfortunately
he can't stop laughing at your wristband!
is described as a tall handsome man dressed in gleaming
armour and fond of saying things like 'Go north' and