record my early disastrous experiences: After waking
from my troubled dreams and being told by a pretty lady
that I should go out and find a certain orb for her,
I find myself in a dry valley near to a castle. Alas,
I am also near to a large forest and spend many moves
blundering round it. I have no objects to drop and mark
my way, having lost them all as (I blush) a penalty
for uttering oaths. (This latter is an excellent touch,
but programmers really should try to discriminate between
foul-mouthed orcs who deserve every punishment they
get, and those such as I who let slip only the very
occasional improper remark.)
giving up all hope of escape, I accidentally take a
wrong turning and stumble upon a gingerbread cottage.
My joy is turned to sorrow a few minutes later when
I am turned by a witch into a small, pink, wriggling
worm! Great goblins alive, I am not used to being treated
like this! But luckily, after being eaten by a bird,
a goddess, bless her soul, takes pity on me and restores
me back to my wise and wonderful self.
I go to the castle, only to find that the woodland has
grown over my previous route and I am back to square
one, lost! Never mind, I relish the challenge. I am
pleased to report that after a few games I have been
able to enter the castle and really get going.
Blackstar has many interesting locations -- there
are plenty outside the castle as well as within. Indeed,
in many ways it is up to the standard of most disk-based
adventures -- both as complex and absorbing. The vocabulary
is very good, with plenty of opportunity to use more
than just two-word inputs. There's also a good line
in responses, providing variation and interest. Not
to mention plenty of sarcastic comments which crop up
unexpectedly and are quite amusing.
annoying feature is that it appears impossible to restore
the game to the start position without actually reloading.
The White Wizard believes this shows inadequate allowance
for human failure, especially in an adventure as difficult
despite this quirk, Castle Blackstar is a really
great cassette adventure that should become a classic.
I'm expecting my mailbag to expand by a few more inches
because of it.