Here's a new game from a new company that promises to be something quite special. The plot isn't startlingly original go forth and free a damsel in distress from the grip of an evil wizard's spell - but the program itself is excellently put together and offers all the features us Pilgrims crave but rarely receive.
First, you get some very attractive pics They may be small, but they're perfectly formed There's a different picture for each location, and the Pilg reckons that size comes second to quality where graphics are concerned.
Second, just to give the atmosphere a boost, you get an astonishing computer rendering of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, if any of you out there ever saw Castle of Terror or The Disc Hobbit running on a Commodore 64, you'll know how effective music can be in adventure, especially when the melody changes as you move from location to location. Magician 's Ball is, to my knowledge, the first game to do this on Arnold.
Third, you get real interactive characters By that I mean characters who will accept commands as if they were directly under your control. So you can make them get, drop, give, and go to your heart's content - provided of course that they re prepared to obey The characters have a significant role in the game and some of them are quite endearing - a little dragon for example who proves a very faithful if somewhat useless companion.
You can also, rather as in Lords of Midnight, change the character that you control directly. There are two main people in the game, Caro (who must break the spell) and Azul, who must help him. If Caro gets in a tight spot, you can type Azul and lo and behold, you've swapped identities, locations inventories, and all.
Magician 'sBall is an excellent game - the Cowled Crusader s only reservation was that perhaps there wasn't quite enough of it, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll finish it in a hurry Add it to your collection, and keep an eye on this column for news of Old Scores - the next Global release that looks just as good.
AMSTRAD ACTION #4