I've just 'died'again. That makes the score: Trials = 3, Me = 0. Not that The Trials of Arnold Blackwood keep score, it's much too sophisticated for mundane score keeping, rather, it is an adventure game, and a most unusual one at that.
Arnold Blackwood awakes from a knock on his head to find himself suffering from amnesia, although he does remember his name and the fact that he is in the middle of Lord Erebus'estate. The eerie music adds to the atmosphere. Your help is enlisted to get him out of the mess, so you jump on his shoulders and proceed N, S, E, or W.
The game is well written with clear graphics and a good sense of humour. A sensible feature is a display that shows you your previous moves* and a facility to save a partly completed game. It follows the now standard 'two word'commands and uses some 80 verbs and 50 nouns. This allows the operator to be less than precise in providing instructions, and use 3-characters only for each verb and noun. But the game is full of wit and certainly uses the sound generator to good effect The fact that you don't know what Arnold Blackwood and yourself are trying to achieve makes the game that more interesting. Being faced with problems such as:
- Will Arnold eat the other half of the kipper? Will Mexican Pete find his true vocation in life? Does the ORACLE tell the truth?
- What is in the mysterious chest? (In fact where is the mysterious chest?!)
It is very difficult to tear yourself away from the game and thereby ruin your train of thought.
For those who enjoy adventure games, devious in their nature, yet humorous, thought provoking yet entertaining, I would seriously recommend The Trials of Arnold Blackwood.
Now for another attempt, and this time when I see the Brick Wall I'll ............BANG HEAD?
A review by Philip Riley, TAU#1