PROGRAMMERS are inevitably interested in either beer, science fiction, JRR Tolkien, or all three. This means that if they can't work an alcoholic spaceman into a game, they will turn to the mysterious and occult, as in the case of this latest offering from Tomahawk, the French software house responsible for Emmanuelle. French programmers are obviously interested in one more subject.
The use of wizards and magic to form the basis of a plot is not what you might call startlingly original; even the early adventure games on the first mainframes used magic as a major plot device. It was therefore with totally unbaited breath that I switched off my extra memory and re-booted Legend of Djel to see what sort of magical mystery tour I was letting myself in for.
The booklet accompanying the game is a wonderful example of what 1992 holds in store for us. It attempts to set an atmospheric scene, and fails miserably.
Why do our European friends insist of translating the instructions themselves? Would it cost too much to ask someone who had at least glanced at an English-to-
"At the moment of confrontation you will be projected into".
Sounds very painful, and probably illegal.
The story eventually forthcoming from under this Euro-
You play the part of a wizard called Djel - pronounced gel, as in the stuff Green puts in his hair - and your career goals are to rescue a girly, save a country from starvation and cure a major outbreak of foot-and-
Comms are handled by the most modern mutli-rate crystal ball, with hardware error correction. The database is managed by the latest version of dBrain (Dragon's Brain).
Many more systems are also covered, all accessed by clicking on the easy-to-
By clicking on the various icons, Djel can check up on his status, or even pop out to a different country. This is achieved by playing with an animated icon on the far wall.
A problem presents itself once each new location has been tiresomely loaded from disc. These problems are usually little more than doing the right thing at the right time, but occasionally you are thrust into combat with a hideous monster form another dimension.
Combat may be of a physical or a mental nature. Being a devout coward, when Djel is under my command he always tries to out-think his opponent. This is attempted on a small grid where Djel and his enemy take it in turns to move a playing piece and place blocking moves. Whoever gets totally blocked first, loses.
The other action sequences are far from state-of-
This is, of course, where it all falls down, because the adventure side is not particularly mind-shattering. The use of the mouse automatically limits the player's actions, and can lead to the very unscientific approach of clicking everything in sight. To try to solve this problem your total number of clicks is limited. What a cop out.