reviewed by Craig Fuller



Issue 12

Nov/Dec 84

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Synapse .... 32k cassette .... 1 player....

'The age of darkness is upon us, shrouding the sun in a gloomy half fog. Men move cautiously, beasts of the forest scuttle silently from cover to cover and the spell of black magic hangs over the darkened houses creating permanent twilight'.

So the scene is set for Necromancer, the magical arcade/adventure game from Synapse. You control Illuminar, the white wizard, who must defeat Tetragorn, the evil wizard, who rules supreme. To do this you must firstly raise an army of trees (rather like the Tree Ents from Lord of the Rings) in the forest. You move a wisp and, by pressing the joystick button, plant a tree. To obtain more seeds you must hit an eye pod which occasionally jumps across the screen with your wisp. You are hampered by the ogres who stomp down the trees before they are fully grown but you can destroy them with your wisp. A more deadly foe is the Forest Spider who poisons the full grown trees causing a sad face to appear on the trunk. The trees can be cured by wiping away the face if you are quick enough otherwise it's another sad case of Dutch Ent Disease(!).

When you run out of strength you go on to the vaults where you must prevent the spider larva from hatching out by planting your walking trees over the vaults where the larva grows. The trees roots will grow through the stonework and the tree crashes down onto the larvae. You must watch out for the Hands of Fate which may grab you or a tree and pull you screaming into the sky. The Hands leave behind question marks which when touched lower a ladder to the next level or leave you with a mystery prize, not always pleasant!. You must also be aware of the Salivating Spider from Sith who spits deadly venom, while the Ceygolian Janitor Rings give you extra strength.

After leaving vault 5 you enter Tetragom's lair. Here you must fight Zombie Spiders and a Mother Spider whilst removing all of the 13 headstones so that Tetragorn, who you also have to fight, cannot reincarnate himself. When you achieve all of this the forest explodes in a rainbow of colours.

The game has reasonable graphics and a nice little tune but what is more important is that it is totally original, very playable and quite addictive. One of the better Synapse games, definitely worth a look.