The Crimson Crown


Issue 20

Mar/Apr 86

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Polarware (Penguin Software)
Requires Colour Monitor

First take a look at Garry Francis' Adventure column in this issue. He mentions that Transylvania has a sequel called The Crimson Crown due for release and sure enough here it is - but on the ST!

The Crimson Crown is subtitled 'further adventures in Transylvania' and Garry's column will give you sufficient background to know what to expect. Billed on the package as a spine tingling interactive novel which understands full and multiple sentence commands with a vocabulary of over 100 words, it is an interesting adventure but it is not in the class of Infocom. The package is nicely presented with a journal and map and a few other bits and pieces and the program has some nice touches. It uses the mouse, with keyboard alternative, for movement by clicking on the appropriate compass point, and for loading, saving and quitting games as well as listing the last few moves. The pictures can be switched out to reveal more text and the mouse control makes it very comfortable to play. The keyboard is of course used for all other instructions which are accepted as in a conventional adventure.

I haven't played too far through the adventure so I cannot comment on its complexity or otherwise but it is certainly enjoyable with puzzles that are definitely not as complex as Infocom's Expert level! The most disappointing aspect is the graphics. Don't get me wrong, they are good, but no better than on an 8-bit system and hardly live up to the box description of 'beautifully detailed'. They are essentially line drawings in colour with the appropriate colour fills and the only difference between them and an Atari 8-bit Graphics 8 display is that true colours can be used instead of artifacting.

If you are looking to buy this for some stunning graphics then you will be sorely disappointed. As an adventure it is sufficiently interesting and slightly better than on the 8-bit systems. Certainly the mouse control adds that little bit of finesse. Definitely one for Adventure addicts but Graphics freaks should wait awhile.