Tim Kemp and Jon Lemon wrote Project X – Microman. (reviewed November 1985; Paul Coppins personal rating 7) which later became (the best) part of the Four most Adventure compilation. The 'O' Zone is a sequel by the same authors, although there is no need to have played its forerunner.
Professor Richards, the scientist involved in Project X. has disappeared. Your task is to solve the mystery of his disappearance, and to recover the secret Project X papers.
Starting off in the Profs laboratory, you discover that the computer is programmed toself destruct. taking you and the laboratory w'ith it. This is the first problem you must overcome.
Events soon lead you to the airport, and a fraught flight, in continuation of your search – not before some fun in the deéparture lounge and a visit to the gents'toilets'though!
Here, us in all the graphics, the details are impeccable. Four urinals are shown in a neat row. with an open cubicle in the distance, but for the benefit of maiden aunts who do not wish to view urinals, there is a "picture off' command available.
The text (I did notice a couple of minor slips in grammar and spelling) is nicely laid out, attractive and easily read. A different colour is used for location, exits. objects and messages text. There is also a useful STORE and RECALL command for in-memory saves.
The vocabulary is reasonable, with an explanatory screen displayed each time the game is restarted. If you need to get back to it. all vou have to do is STORE. QUIT, and play again. RECALLing your original position.
I played (he Spectrum version. Very quick to start up with a turbo-load, this Quilled and Illustrated adventure claims to be the first to use The Press. Quill's text-compression add-on. before it became commercially available.
There is certainly plenty of text, but it is the detail and colour in the graphics, particularly the really smart loading screen, which gives the game a polish worthy of a more commercial launch than I suspect Compass Software is able to mount.
An interesting adventure, with plenty of problems, but not too difficult. A must at £2.50!
Computer & Video Games - Issue #65 (1987)