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In this quest you play Doug Thornton who has just received his late father's legacy. It consists of an envelope. It does not contain money or anything valuable, simply the news that his father failed in his quest (hence the letter) and that news that he, Doug, is destined to take on the quest where his father failed.

It seems that, long ago, a Silver Dragon appeared in the realms of Bogwoppit and made an alliance with the Red Goblins. Now, as every adventurer worth his salt knows, Goblins are trouble. But Red ones are arguably the worst that the race has to offer.

The Red Goblins attacked the Circle of Nine and stole the Medallion of Immortality. A very grave crime it was, since the medallion granted — to those who wore it — protection against the elements and even the power to control them. Reading through his letter, Doug realises what he has to do.

Kill the Silver Dragon. Recover the Medallion of Immortality and then return it to the village of Heyworth from where it was stolen. Nothing to it. An easy job which most — apart from a few run-of-the-mill — adventurers would be able to accomplish well before breakfast as a sort of warming-up exercise before they tackled a ‘really' difficult quest. Taking on a Silver Dragon? What could be simpler?

Unfortunately it's not quite that easy; well, it never is.

The game has been converted to the Amstrad format using the PAW which means, once again, that tape users cannot be catered for. (I have heard a whisper that some tape-based adventures may be forthcoming from the Adventure Workshop soon.) It is in two parts and runs under CPM 2.2 or CPM+.

Part One begins with you standing in grassland. There is a rocky ledge above you (but of course, it is out of reach) and trees to the cast. Now, only a few locations away (about 5) there is a rope bridge. It won't come as a surprise to most adventurers to find that you have to cross the bridge.

It will come as even less of a surprise to find that the bridge is guarded by... a Black Goblin. Unfortunately, he's the type of Goblin who says hello whilst ramming his sword between your ribs, so it's difficult to get to know him or bribe him into letting you pass. This is your first real problem. Prior to this you have to find some object(s) to help you in your quest. If you solve the bridge problem correctly, you will soon reap the benefit.

Once across the bridge, having dealt with the Black Goblin, you will still have to meet and deal with some vicious dogs, another Goblin, a Shadow Spirit, an Elf and a seven-headed serpent.

Of course, I'm assuming that you manage to get this far into the game.

The puzzles are original and varied. Some are of the traditional where-do-I-use-which-object variety but others require a bit more wit. You can confer with your companions, Tom, Dick and Harry, at points during the game and they have suggestions about what to do next. They don't always agree mind, and they all have distinct personalities, so you often have to choose whose suggestion is best. Your companions' comments, ideas and arguments liven the game up no end!

The game can be VERY frustrating. In each time-zone there are certain objects that you need to take with you and use later but you aren't told what they are. If you fail to find one and then leave the scenario you'll have to go all the way back to the beginning and start again. This happened to me on several occasions. Irritatingly, I left a camera in the scientist's home which I only discovered I needed when I reached time-zone four! Eventually I had to resort to using a list of the objects needed which Jean sent me.

There's a nicely drawn picture of each scenario, and some of the puzzles have diagrammatical representations. Regrettably there's no sound or music of any sort! (Musical adventurers will be pleased to note, however, that "Jilliansian Adventure", a game of my own devising (coming soon from Jilli-soft), has ample audio coverage).

All in all, "Excuse Me — Do You Have The Time?" is an excellent adventure which I would thoroughly recommend to all keen adventurers (musicians will be disappointed though!). With plenty of puzzles which are fun rather than too difficult, some extremely atmospheric locations, the occasional graphic and a large dose of humour, Jean should be proud. But be warned — the game can be VERY frustrating!

To Get You Started

Can't carry all the items you need? - enihcam emit eht ni meht fo emos evaeL / Con't find the time machine? -pohskrow eht ni hcnebkrow eht enimaxE / Con't operate the time machine? - atad demmargorp-erp sdeen yenruoj hcaE

James Judge has also played "Excuse Me" and bis verdict is... " It is a very good adventure which / recommend to all adventurers. It's not too difficult, but is still enjoyable. Veteran adventurers may find it too short."

Reviewed by Phill Ramsay, played on the Amstrad CPC


Author: Martin Freemantle

★ YEAR: 19XX



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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.