Personal Computer Games
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This month's Adventureworld is really something special. Not only have we got five pages and a great competition, but we've also got reviews of no less than NINE games, of which more than half are really hot stuff.

So, let's not beat about the Balrogs, we'll go straight in at the deep end with Upper Gumtree from . This is their latest release for the Commodore 64, soon to be converted onto the Spectrum as well. The company have already scored several hits with adventures, including games like Urban Upstart, Espionage Island, and Inferno.

Peter Cooke, who programs most of Richard Shepherd's games, has a thing about places you want to get out of. Scarthorpe in Urban Upstart was the sort of town that made Neasden look like Monte Carlo, and Inferno was... well, not exactly the sort of place you'd go for a holiday. Now he's come up with Upper Gumtree, 'the most boring place in the known Universe'. He's also come up with a very enjoyable game.

Apart from being hell-on-earth, Upper Gumtree is also the setting for your attempts to foil Professor Blowitovitz' efforts to take over the world. Accompanied by Emma and Wally, you have to unravel the plot and save humanity.

The game features split-screen graphics which can be turned off if you want to move around quickly. The pictures aren't wildly exciting, but they're good enough to add something to the game rather than just be a nuisance. The infamous Commodore 64 split-screen glitch is there unfortunately, as evidenced by a slight flicker where the text and graphics screens meet. To make up for that minor shortcoming, there's what seems to be a large vocabulary, and generally this is a very player-friendly game.

The game is a considerable advance on Urban Upstart and even on Inferno - there's a real-time element, and if you don't enter a command for about 30 seconds the screen flashes up 'You wait' in Hobbit style. Emma also shows Thor-in tendencies by occasionally saying. 'We're wasting time!' if you hang around too long.

Wally, another independent companion of yours, is something of a pain in the neck. He has a habit of picking things up just before you can get your hands on them, and then refusing to part with them, making excuses like 'I found them first!' I'm still trying to get a pair of gloves from him that I think are essential to solving the game!

He's also a violent individual. I hit him once as a just reward (1 thought) for refusing to give me the gloves, whereupon he killed me instantly. You have been warned. Emma is far more peaceable, and also seems to do more wandering about.

There are quite a few puzzles to solve here. For the most part they're logical and the game is all the better for this. and the game is all the better for this. There arc. however, one or two places where you can be killed without warning, which I think is a pity as you then have to start all over again unless you've saved your position.

You'll encounter people like Farmer Giles, who will happily murder you for examining his tomatoes, and Mrs Shuffle, who will condemn you to a fate worse than death (but rather more useful) - endless cups of tea.

Upper Gumtree is a worthy addition to the legendary White Wizard Collection. Sadly, Richard Shepherd Software have been devoting rather more time to business and utility programs recently, but I hope that we won't have to wait too long before they bring out their next adventure.



AUTHOR: Richard Shepherd

★ PRICE: £6.50

★ YEAR: 1985


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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.