PEOPLE who like playing Dungeons and Dragons but don't fancy spending their time collecting multi-
Software houses, although perhaps a bit slow on the uptake, now knock out D&D type games by the basketfull - they know a good thing when they see one (Oh yeah?) and they also know a good thing when they see a bad one.
Most of these games have a section for character generation followed by the main part of the game, an adventure of some sort, usually some quest randomly punctuated by sending lots of happy-go-
To start with, you must create a party with five members. If your name's David Owen you already have one. The party can be made up of any of the usual character classes - paladin, ranger, barbarian, monk, wizard, thief, cleric and so on.
Each character must also choose his race, but unfortunately no indication is made of which race is suited to which type of persona.
Characters may be added to or removed from this list at any time but there must always be five members of the party before you can enter the adventure, even if some of them are dead. Once again, a bit like the SDP.
Death is but a mild inconvenience, a slight malady that can easily be cured for around 90 gold pieces, no questions asked, no money back, no guarantee. Healers skilled in the art of resurrection abound, which is just as well, 'cos the Reaper is outside and he's in his working clothes.
You begin in some ruins. It is a good idea to visit the nearby village and buy some fearsome weapons before you run into anything nasty.
Monks can be quite good at karate, but anyone else without a weapon would best spend their attack period looking for something big and solid to hide behind - like the monk.
Wizards are pretty good guys to got to know, too. They may be rather weak, but even the lowest novice can unleash horribly destructive power with a softly spoken magic spell.
Once suitably equipped you are prepared for, well, exploring and things I suppose, or whatever else it is that archetypal heroes do. When you enter a village a series of gadgets appears with all the possible moves you can make. You can visit the pub. Go to church, have a kip in the in...
Similar gadgets appear when you make camp. You can go hunting, pray, go to sleep, along with a whole host of other options. It is annoying that you have to make camp to examine the characteristics of your characters or to equip them with weapons.
There are objectives, things to obtain, places to explore and a small number of puzzles to solve, but most of your time will be spent beating off random assortments of sad guys who are out to spoil your day.
The fight scenes are the most disappointing part of the game. The graphics could have been done better on a Spectrum, the sound effects are easily surpassed by those of the Oric. Basically you are left with a program that would run more happily on an 8 bit machine.