Adventure Probe
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"For hours Noel Central had monitored Santas progress as he carried out this yea's dry run. All had gone well unti! the passage over the pole. This was when the tracking satellite had transmitted the emergency code that all the helpers dreaded to hear. JOLLY POPPA DOWN. Father Christmas is missing amidst the arctic wastes and someone must find him. Could it be you. Nat Elf , workshop supervisor ? It is Christmas Eve and time is running out , can you save Chnstmas?

As this adventure has a Christmas theme. I decided to review it for this issue. Although it is an oldish game, there isn't a single mention of it in Probe, until now , and / very nearly abandoned the idea.

The title is excellent and I think that can often be a very good start for any game The introduction seems to promise a very interesting adventure and it could have been What found was a very frustrating and disappointing experience.

It is written on the GAC, with most locations illustrated. As I only have a green screen I couldn't really appreciate them, but they seem fairly good. The text is adequate. What lets it down is the programming I'm not exactly a novice adventurer but some of the inputs are so obscure it took a total of SIX phone calls to a very, very patient Phil Reynolds before I could struggle to the end.

I started outside a workshop, and could move to another 5 locations. This is as far as I got until I was told the passwords so that I could enter the workshop and Santa's home. This opened up the game and I made quite good progress as I explored and collected lots of interesting objects. There were even one or two neat puzzles which tested my brains , and it was my fault I had to make a few more calls for help as I had failed to find a vital object an use another.

I eventually got the sleigh into the air , but failed to crash-land which gave me another frustrating 24 hours. I carefully mapped the arctic locations , got killed off numerous times and between us Phil and I worked out what I hadn't done. My next call was to say I had completed the adventure, but Phil is too much of a gentleman to say "Thank goodness!"

What a pit the game has been spoilt because of a lack of a few carefully worded responses. I don't ask for sledge-hammer hints, but it would be a far more enjoyable game if a few cryptic hints had been included.

What I did like was the idea that if you took less than 250 moves to complete the game , which is possible, it remain daylight, so you don't need to find a light source. However, if you are very clever and manage this, you will bypass a few puzzles but still finish with 200 points! The whole game must be completed within 500 moves otherwise you have failed to free Santa and therefore there won't be any Christmas.

The best I can say about Jolly Poppa Down is that it has an intriguing title, and is one hell of a challenge.

Available from The Adventure Workshop - Price £2 00 (tape)  £4 00 (disc)

Reviewed by Barbara Gibb on an Amstrad 464


Author: Charles A. Sharp (The Dreaming Djinn)

★ PRICES: £4 (DISK/The Adventure Workshop) ; £2 (TAPE/The Adventure Workshop)

★ YEAR: 1987



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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.