Global Software seem to have had more than their fair share of notice in this column recently, but the fact is that they are committed to releasing adventures on a regular basis and already have the Fourmost collection, Beerhunter, and Old Scores to their credit. Murdac was originally to be released by Amsoft but somehow it never saw the light of day. At first glance, it's not hard to see why - this is a text-only game of a rather old-fashioned nature where you trundle around underground solving puzzles and collecting valuable items.
In addition to the treasure-gathering routine, you'll also be posed a rather tricky challenge by one of the characters you meet, who seems to have mislaid his daughter. Finding her isn't Murdac doesn't impress much at first play, but it grew on me. The parser isn't up to much and tends to object to anything other than two-word input. What's more (horror horror) it doesn't understand EXAMINE, so object descriptions are somewhat limited. Most of the challenge in the game is therefore concerned not with finding objects but with matching the right object with the right puzzle.
After I'd been playing for a couple of hours, however, the crude parser ceased to trouble me overmuch. The game is nicely put together, the-location descriptions are evocative and original, and the puzzles range satisfyingly from the easy (and therefore encouraging) to the difficult (and therefore compelling).
The only thing I'm not sure about is value for money - it costs the same as Old Scores - reviewed below and definitely a game in a different class altogether. I certainly enjoyed my struggle with the Monsters of Murdak, but I didn't finish the game and am unsure how many secrets there were still to be uncovered - Global didn't know either. So there is just the teensiest question mark here - the Pilg is inclined to think that £7.95 is a bit on the steep side these days for a traditional treasure-collecting romp like this one.
AMSTRAD ACTION n°11