|★ AMSTRAD CPC ★ GAMESLIST ★ LEOPOLD THE MINSTREL (c) THE ADVENTURE WORKSHOP ★|
The title seemed to me to be vaguely intriguing; but only vaguely. However, not wanting to be accused of judging a book by its cover, [ decided to play the game through before making any decisions about how interesting the game might prove to be - or not, as the case might be. Unfortunately, I have to accuse myself of hypocrisy. For one of the very few times in my reviewing career. I found my mind firmly made up about the game before I was even a third of the way through it.
This, in itself is not a unique event, but it does make the sometimes onerous task of reviewing a game more of a pleasure. However, before I start talking about the actual content of the game, let me give you some facts about it.
It has been converted to Amstrad using the Amstrad version of the PAW, and is therefore available only on disc, and runs under CPM. A very unusual and somewhat peculiar feature of the game is that it is in two parts. That's not so unusual in itself, but it's not a case of playing through part one and then moving to part two. You have to move between the two parts as you progress within the game. Part one concerns the puzzles in the woods and surrounding areas, and part two the puzzles set within the town.
Since you have to travel several times between the woods and the town to solve the numerous problems within the game, you will find yourself having to make numerous saves to disc, to load in the other part, to reload your saved position. I reckon that if you have no mishaps and manage to do everything in the correct sequence, you can get away with having to save and load your position (along with the alternative game part) around thirteen times.
Yes, this is an irritation, and does tend to break up the flow of the game, and in lesser games it would be such a distraction that interest in the game would quickly be lost. Fortunately, Leopold is not a lesser game, and the irritation of having repeatedly to save and move between the two positions is much diminished by the sheer quality of the game. I am told the game had to be converted in this manner due to memory limitations on the Amstrad PAW. It's a shame but there was no other viable option.
Having mentioned the one bad point in this game, let me immediately attempt to redress the balance by moving on to the game itself, and to my impressions of it. You play the part - you will be surprised to discover - of Leopold the Minstrel. Now, Leopold had always wanted to be a minstrel, for as long as he could remember. He managed to become apprenticed to Old Sam, one of the most renowned minstrels in the kingdom. After several months, there was an accident the results of which was that Sam's beloved lute had been destroyed and was now in need of repair. As Sam was somewhat indisposed with ‘flu, the task to get the lute repaired fell to Leopold. If he didn't manage this simple task, he was informed, his apprenticeship could be terminated.
So there was my quest. Repairing a lute? What could be easier or more straightforward? I started off in the woods and soon found an Inn. Entering this, I decided that the task of repairing a lute would be more easily accomplished on a full stomach, so I ordered a meal. It's a pity that I didn't have the money to pay for it.
Reviewed by Phill Ramsay on an Amstrad CPC
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.