You play a bomber pilot during World War II. During a bombing raid over Germany you are unfortunately shot down, captured and placed in a P.O.W. camp. Whilst there you become an active part of the Escape Committee and try a number of unsuccessful escape attempts. The Germans, realising you to be a “risky customer”, send you to their top security camp, Colditz. This is a two part adventure. Part one concerns your quest to gather enough items of equipment to prepare your escape. This means stealing from and bribing the castle guards, as well as searching thoroughly and meticulously throughout the camp complex. I must make a mention now of the authors care and attention in the planning and layout of the castle locations. The whole area is drawn to scale, that is why there are something like forty locations in the courtyard area alone. It gives the feeling of "being there" , Frank has obviously tackled this project thoughtfully and with a great deal of consideration to fact. To continue, in part one, the search resumes for materials to make civilian clothing, you also need to locate the items needed to construct a fake past, a travel warrant and identity card. When these have been accumulated, by fair means or foul, they are handed to the clothing officer and the forger to perform their respective tasks. An interesting sideline in this adventure are the German lessons. You have to have a minimum of six courses in order to escape capture, due to language problems, as you play the second part of this game. Whilst collecting your escape items it is best to enter any of the prisoners quarters locations using the ”Go” command. This will take you straight to a number of vital rooms where the objects may be hidden, safe from the Germans clasp.
This entire adventure is written in BASIC and the first part has a number of random elements, there are three German guards who constantly patrol the ground floor level, this includes the courtyard, chapel, office, kitchens, canteen, sick-bay etc. One will throw you into the cells, another you may bribe for essential equipment. For these you will need a good suply of chocolate and cigarettes. They are always found in the Dutch and French quarters. The random movement of Guards and objects may deter some adventures but I must say that it adds to the enhancement of what proves to be a very addictive adventure indeed. When everything has been completed and you have escaped from the castle, part two comes into operation. This is on the "traditional” adventure lines with various obstacles and problems to overcome with travel across Germany using trains and a bit of legwork, to finally reach the Swiss border and then home to England.
This two parter supports multiple instructions and recognises the "it” command. You can also input "go” which sends you direct to certain locations as well as using the “where” command, the latter one shows you the locations of the objects you have hidden. I enjoy BASIC written adventures if they are bug free. My initial review copy had a couple of these plus one or two minor spelling errors but I'm pleased to say these have now been rectified. I found this game very addictive and would recommend it to anyone who fancies a real challenge. Give yourself more than one night to finish it though!
Reviewer MARK ELTRINGHAM played on Amstrad CPC6128