|★ AMSTRAD CPC ★ GAMESLIST ★ COMPILATION: THE UNDEAD & TOMMYROT EPOCH (c) THE ADVENTURE WORKSHOP ★|
Both these games come on one cassette, which is priced at £2.00. I assume that the game is not available on disc since I have had no information regarding disc availability.
There is, in fact, a problem with Tommyrot Epoch. It was apparently written on an unexpanded 464 and most of the memory was used up in the writing. This means that 664 and 6128 users will find that the game corrupts when it has loaded, because the interface ROM needs some of the first bank of 64k and therefore room and object descriptions are corrupted on these machines.
Fortunately I own both a 464 and a 6128, so I was able to load the game. The cassette inlay says nothing about Tommyrot Epoch being 464 only, so I would have assumed the game was corrupt if I hadn't been used to using the GAC and been familiar with its limitations.
1 looked forward to playing these games, but there are lots of problems with them and I don't mean of the adventuring kind.
We have all seen spelling and grammatical errors in professional games and had a quiet chuckle at them. Even worse, in my opinion, is the home-produced game which has such errors.
Both Tommyrot and Undead fall into this category. The games have quite obviously not been checked for spelling errors, contain sentences which aren't — due to the lack of a main verb — and sequences of words which, quite frankly, make no sense at all.
Tommyrot Epoch contains some superbly childish mistakes, such as Bear Mat which is covered in stains and the size of a credit card. Another object is a Bag of Potatos. Plurals obviously cause him difficulties too. One of my favourite locations was the Ships wheel huse. Apostrophes and correct spelling really are not Ian Talbot's strong point.
In Undead at one point there is a sword which is made of solid SIVER; not silver. The noun has been defined as SIVER in the data file, so the correct spelling is not recognised. Another of my favourites, again from Undead is: "... in this this EXPLOSED CEMERTAY, are so...
Throughout both games there are no spaces after full stops, which gives the text a very cramped appearance. I know that there are formatting problems when using GAC, but there are better ways of overcoming them than cramming the text so closely together that it becomes difficult to read.
In Undead your input is often reduced to entering a, b, c, or d for an indicated action. Quite why the game has been programmed this way is a mystery to me. It does not improve the game at all: quite the opposite, I found.
I have not completed Undead mainly because these errors annoy me to the extent that 1 quickly lose interest. Nor are these isolated examples. Such errors litter both games with monotonous frequency. It seems to me that Ian Talbot doesn't care about the quality of his games, or how badly they fall down on these basic points, as long as he gets the money from their sale.
The Adventure Workshop sells tape-based adventures, priced at £2.00. However, Philip Reynolds (proprietor of AW) has a team of playtesters working on his games and submitting reports 011 any error, so that the games can be corrected before being offered for sale.
Ian Talbot's game give the feeling of having been programmed yesterday and offered for sale today. Never mind all that boring stuff called 'playtesting'. Never mind checking for spelling mistakes (they won't notice and once they've sent their money, it's too late anyway) and never mind grammatical errors (who cares about grammar these days?).
To sum up... if you've money to throw away, don't mind being ripped off and if you don't mind atrocious spelling and grammar, then these games are the games for you. Otherwise, do yourself a favour and give them a miss.
After Phill's first look at these games, he wrote a friendly letter to lan Talbot pointing out the problems. He asked that the mistakes should be corrected and a new version sent to him.
Reviewed by Phill Ramsay, played on the Amstrad
L'alinéa 8 de l'article L122-5 du Code de la propriété intellectuelle explique que « Lorsque l'œuvre a été divulguée, l'auteur ne peut interdire la reproduction d'une œuvre et sa représentation effectuées à des fins de conservation ou destinées à préserver les conditions de sa consultation à des fins de recherche ou détudes privées par des particuliers, dans les locaux de l'établissement et sur des terminaux dédiés par des bibliothèques accessibles au public, par des musées ou par des services d'archives, sous réserve que ceux-ci ne recherchent aucun avantage économique ou commercial ». Pas de problème donc pour nous!
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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.