Adventure Probe
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No sooner have you completed your task in "The Taxman Cometh . you return to your office to discover that you are required, once more, to persuade eight more characters to pay their taxes. This time, you must pit your wits against Snow White and the seven short guys.

Snow White has not been seen for some time Has she been poisoned - or is there another reason for her absence7 Blotto is drunk as usual Gadget is the inventor of teleport and transport devices Potboy owns the local nightclub Nomarks is the dunce of the diamond mine Banker is. of course notoriously tight with money Parser is e trainee trap builder Trapper finally is away at a conference but is unlikely to have left his money unguarded.

The first problem which I encountered in this game was how to obtain some light in e mine which leads to all the various places which you need to visit in order to mee? the citizens and gain their taxes Not far from the entrance to the mine 16 a room with a pane, of lights initially, each light shows red The lights refer to the states of nine rooms nearby and by visiting the rooms one can change the lights from red to green When the panel shows all green lights then the mine is lit and can be entered with no further problems If this problem sounds easy to solve, it is ? you are logical about it but a little though has to be taken since if you enter a location twice, you may change the light from red to green to red again.

I found the mining truck which would eventually take me all over the mine and become a constant in a very strange world. First I visited Blotto. He wouldn't let me in and having said hello to me. promptly closed the door. The way to deal with him is to use his addiction to your advantage, and be a little sneaky with it This will yield dividends in that you'll leave with the first of the taxes collected.

Visiting Nomarks eventually yielded an object which was of assistance in gaining entry to Gadgets domain. After being teleported, along with two objects, (a gadget and the taxes; we got separated and guess who had to start looking around tor the two missing items? Eventually the device was found, with a little help from hay, and not long afterwards I managed to find the taxes Unfortunately a large and irritable hawk was sitting on them, and it took a little persuading to fly off Indeed, if you stay in the vicinity of the nest for too long, you may find yourself having to reload a saved position.

Having retrieved the taxes I returned to Gadget's domain, and from there I wandered North and found myself in front of a door with a keypad next to it Having made a note of a code obtained elsewhere, I soon entered what I discovered to be Banker s dwelling I found some interesting objects, a oesk (always worth looking at), a grub and a mechanical bird There is also a greased pole crossing a vast chasm. How do you cross it? And how on earth do you manage to get back? Problems, problems, as they say.

Eventually, you may be able to find a key (the logic of this sequence, I confess, escapes me I don't understand why you have to drop an item and manipulate it at a specific location before you can enter another location and obtain the key) and then you may be able to confront the Banker and collect his taxes.

Almost immediately after this notable success I was able to add Nomark's name to the growing list of citizens who had paid their taxes.

On entering Potboy s club, the Glitz, he immediately wandered over to me and offered to pay up - as long as I tidied his cellar This is quite a tricky problem in that several barrels have to be stored in specific locations, and its very much a case of moving one barrel before attempting to move another and eventually manipulating each barrel into its correct place Once this is achieved, Potboy makes no bones about giving you his taxes, and you get a feeling that the worst is over.

Parser requests you to solve his latest puzzle before he'll cough up his dues, and the puzzle is this: if LOCKED - 2 then OPENING THIS PANEL IS STRAIGHTFORWARD

I reproduce the puzzle only to give a taste of the nature of the problems set, and the amount of thought which must go into their solutions Indeed, once the idea has ' clicked' the solution becomes painfully obvious Having solved this problem, you will move on to several groan-generating plays on words, and one or two terribly corny solutions If you manage to groan your way through these. Parser will admit defeat and pay up.

Now. not a million miles away from Parser lies a door marked "Snow White". Being a polite kind of person. I knocked and instead of the aforementioned Snow White, the door was answered by the handsome prince He informed me that Trapper had captured and incarcerated Snow White and he gave me a gold coin The prince is. apparently suffenng from terrible piles, and this limits his adventuring exploits more than somewhat.

SwashDuckling is out of the question !

Inserting a coin in a door wil lead you to a glass tomb inside which is tne unconscious Snow White At this point you will be presented with several algebraic equations which are simultaneous. One of these is a simple cubic equation the rest are purely linear Having solved the one a simDle matter of logical back-substitution of variables from one equation to another provides valuable solutions

These solutions are the key which will aid you In avoiding the alarms which protect the tomb from being opened tf you'd rather guess which alarms should be dealt with in what order you'll be stuck there for a long time believe me tf you solve the problem correctly Snow White will wake have a row with her handsome prince, pay you her taxes and grve you a hint for the parrot which you will shortly meet.

Trapper was the final person to pay up. I found a sign (but no sign of Trapper) which proclaimed that I should “Mix my condiments and make peace" Make of that what you will. As with the other problems, a Iittle thought yields the (perhaps not so obvious) solution. However when you have made peace you'll find that you can both have your cake and eat it. and collect the final taxes in the process It s then a simple matter of returning to the start to complete the game

When I started it I wondered if this sequel could live up to the promise of "The Taxman Cometh". I need not have been concerned because the game is easily up to the high standards set in the original game I find that I have to reiterate a point I made in my review of the original game in that the problems set are a little more cerebral than many you will come across in your adventuring career Personally. I find this quite refreshing, but mathematical type problems have always appealed to me. so I must admit personal bias in this area.

Apart from the one problem which I have mentioned associated with obtaining a key, I found the game logical and very playable In some areas it becomes quite frustrating - but that s all part of the fun. I found myself quite enjoying getting each character to pay up. and enjoyed the game more and more as my list of debtors reduced.

I hesitate to gauge the difficulty level of the game because some people will find the mathematical problems easier than others, but all in all I d say it's around intermediate difficulty Novices shouldn't be put off trying the game but be prepared to ask for lots of help. More experienced adventurers should relish the challenge which this game presents.

I played the PAWed version of the game which is available on disc and runs under CPM. I have been asked to point out that 464 owners are catered for as there is a GACed version of the game, although, not having played that version I cannot comment on its content I assume it to be broadly similar to the 6128 version.

The game is well thought out and well presented For those adventurers who like a touch of deviousness in their adventuring problems "Tax Returns" is more than well worth playing.

Amstrad version available from WoW Software. Price £4 (disc) £2 (tape) Special offer : any two Taxman games in trilogy on one disc £5, all three games on one disc £6.

Reviewed by Phill Ramsay on an Amstrad CPC


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Author: Steve Clay
AMSTRAD Conversion: D.B.E & N.J.P

★ PRICES: £4 (disc) £2 (tape)

★ YEAR: 1991


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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.