SITTING in his little but all alone on the outskirts of civilisation, Bragon waits. Retired hero and inspiration for hundreds of drinking songs, he keeps his battle axe well polished in preparation for what he is sure his future holds - a comeback quest.
No hero worth his battle harness is ever allowed to sit back and draw his pension. There's always some untold horror waiting to sweep over the land, some wrong to be righted, some...
Hang on - was that a knock at the door? Ah, it's Roxanna, illegitimate daughter of Mara the witch and who knows who else. Here comes the spiel. What's that? Evil empires, hopeless quests, terrible danger...? Say no more.
Pausing only to collect his axe and leave a note for the milkman, Bragon is on his way.
Quest for the Time-Bird is based on the French graphic novel of the same name, which has been mildly popular probably because of the over-
The adventure is constructed in the style of a graphical multiple choice type game. Decisions are made by clicking the mouse pointer on a relevant part of the screen. This controls the direction in which the party will move and also their interaction with the environment and enyone they should meet.
The cursor will change shape on a graphic window to indicate a direction in which you can travel. Pressing the left mouse button at any time on the large map page will produce a small box containing graphics of everyone currently in your party. Selecting one of these images will bring up a strip of icons of the different actions that the character can perform.
The actions are the usual and fairly straightforward ones - Eat, Talk, Kill and so on - except for Charm. This can be used to worm your way into the affections of someone in order to get their help - a particularly dangerous weapon when used by Roxanna, who has a lethal pout.
Annoyingly, you are only allowed to have one saved game per disc, hardly enough to explore the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in an adventure such as this where each turn can lead the dusty way to death.
As you might expect from the French, the graphics are superb. Not only are they very detailed and pleasing to look at, but they are displayed with imagination and variety, appearing in different shaped boxes in different areas of the screen. It shows the thought that went into the layout. It has actually interested me sufficiently to look out for the book.
While animated sequences appear to break up the journeys, the most impressive of which is when the party is on foot and the foreground scrolls past the bottom of the screen.
Sounds and effects are both well-crafted. Each of the seven Kingdoms has its own background track, designed to enhance the atmosphere of the current location. They tend to get a bit repetitive and brain destroying after a while but then so does life.
The plot is a little thin, and solving the puzzles is about half-and-
Overall, a well designed game which will probably appeal more to the casual adventurer than the hardened one.