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What with The Archers, Adrian Mole, and now this game based on a Dick Francis novel. Mosaic is showing itself to be quite astute in the adventure game/licensing market. Ramjam, on the other hand, has produced a couple of excellent games itself in particular Valkyrie 17, which was one of the Pilg's favourite adventures when it first came out back in the dark ages.
1 therefore had high hopes of this combination of talents. On loading the game, the hopes seem to be justified to some extent. First, the screen display is mighty impressive. A neat little text window for location descriptions is bordered by very attractive small-scale graphics and, to its left, a pretty little picture of your current location.

Your inputs are entered below in the usual way, and the story concerns one Jonathan Derry who suddenly attracts the attention of a group of very nasty characters. It seems they're interested in a set of cassette tapes that you (as Derry) acquire during the game.
The worst thing about this program is the parser. Frankly, Pilgs, it's pretty manky. First there's a lack of vocabulary, so that although the location descriptions mention various tempting items there's nothing you can do with them.

For example, any adventurer worth his or her salt who encounters a bed, which on examination proves to be unmade, will immediately attempt to make it. You can't. In the bathroom of Derry's house you find a bath which - again on examination has not been emptied. But thou canst not empty it, o Pilg.

There are also problems of interpretation. The most obvious one concerns the use of containers. As any adventure programmer will know, containers are a special class of objects in a program that can be used to hold other objects. They are not easy to implement and for that reason most adventures simply don't use them.

Twice Shy, on the other hand, has several containers - but it can't use them. So for example, we have a pill bottle full of pills. If you open the bottle, the pills spill all over the floor. You can then get the pills, and if you then type PUT PILLS IN BOTTLE the program will reply OK. Typing INVENTORY, however, will now reveal that you have the empty pill bottle but no pills. The clever proggy has decided that PUT PILLS IN BOTTLE means drop the pills - which it doesn't, in my book.

Another example of a botched container is your trusty Peugeot which you use to drive along the motorway and visit various Important Places. If you drop something while in the car, it (presumably) falls through the bottom of the car onto the road. So dropping the aforementioned pills, for example, in the car while driving along the motorway will in fact dump the pills on the motorway but not in the car.
Even better (or worse) is that typing GET OUT OF CAR can actually get you into it, and then typing GET INTO CAR gives you YOU STOP THE CAR, SWITCH OFF THE ENGINE, AND GET OUT.

Now this may be nitpicking, but personally I found it succeeded admirably in robbing me of any confidence I may have had in the program. For example, when I first got stuck on the motorway, I began to think there might be a bug in the program (there wasn't).
Other weaknesses include the mazes. There's a maze in a caravan park which isn't really a maze at all. You can drop objects in it and find that there is in fact only one location, which you exit by pressing the right sequence of keys. This means that luck, not logic, gets you out - which isn't too thrilling for the seasoned adventurer.

The good thing about the game, however, is definitely the plot. The skills of Dick Francis and adaptor Richard Kelly do show through despite the poor parser. There is a good deal of excitement here and some touches of humour as well (as when dealing with a very greedy and unhelpful garage hand). The graphics are good and the display well-designed. What a pity that the parser let it down.
(You also get a racing-game simulation on the reverse side of the cassette. Like most computer racing simulations you simply assess the odds, place a bet from a limited pool of cash, and try to increase your worldly wealth. Fun but - like the parser - rather limited.)



Developper: Ramjam Corporation ( Tony Barder , Simon Dunstan , Nick Cooke)

★ INFO: Based on the book "Twice Shy" by Dick Francis

★ YEAR: 1986


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L'alinéa 8 de l'article L122-5 du Code de la propriété intellectuelle explique que « Lorsque l'œuvre a été divulguée, l'auteur ne peut interdire la reproduction d'une œuvre et sa représentation effectuées à des fins de conservation ou destinées à préserver les conditions de sa consultation à des fins de recherche ou détudes privées par des particuliers, dans les locaux de l'établissement et sur des terminaux dédiés par des bibliothèques accessibles au public, par des musées ou par des services d'archives, sous réserve que ceux-ci ne recherchent aucun avantage économique ou commercial ». Pas de problème donc pour nous!

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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.