Who is Eddie Smith? And why should you want to get to the centre of his head? Perhaps it's something to do with the bomb that Eddie's threatening to blow up the world with, and it must be some bomb! Why do we first encounter Eddie in his laboratory in the company of a Teddy Bear, who says "Leave Eddie alone" if you try to either GET EDDIE or GET TEDDY? Who put the trampoline under the window ledge so, if you're foolhardy enough to jump, you just bounce right back again? And why does the coffee taste so awful? And who's that with the pointy beard clutching a condensor?
The answers to these and other questions may or may not lie in the depths of this adventure, where you have to defuse Eddie's bomb. Eddie is one of the country's top physicists who's unfortunately gone raving bonkers having bumped his head on a nuclear reactor.
One of the early problems you face is finding something to drink so you don't expire after the first 69 moves. Having found a coffee machine that responded to a bit of violence, I obtained a cup of coffee. I drank the coffee, and the program said OK, but the coffee tasted awful and my inventory still showed the coffee. I drank it again, same result, but despite this never-ending supply of coffee I still died of dehydration! I later found a friendly hostelry, the Green Potato Inn, but could I get a drink out of the landlord? I know I only had 50p but you'd think he'd have sold me something. I got the annoying feeling that it was the unfriendly vocabulary that was preventing me quenching my thirst.
And yet in spite of these faults in the program, which are usually the kiss of death as far as I'm concerned, I found myself enjoying the journey into Eddie's head - the chemist selling arsenic, the short-sighted optician, the butcher and his sausages, the building site brick and the tempting jeweller's shop window. I'd have welcomed a GRAPHICS OFF command, as the pictures are pretty duff stuff - you wouldn't catch me sitting on that toilet, I can tell you! You might catch me playing this adventure again, though. Give it a try.
|Value For Money||8/10|
Journey to the Centre of Eddie Smith's Head is the first adventure I've seen from Players, Interceptor's budget label. I'm sorry to say that future releases are going to have to be rather better than this.
The plot of Eddie Smith is fairly simple. To cut a short story even shorter, Eddie Smith, nuclear scientist, has gone bonkers after hitting his head on an atomic bomb big enough to destroy planet Earth and now intends to use it to do just that. You have to search the laboratories and city where Eddie worked to find a way to defuse the bomb and save humanity.
Standard verb/noun input, usual format descriptions, usual style locations, some old objects and graphics.
The program is not particularly clever either when it comes to interpreting commands. True to some extent of just about every adventure, but this one seems to be more obtuse than is really necessary. For example, right at the beginning of the game, if you do an inventory you'll find you have a 50p piece and a 10p piece, in addition to a magic ring. When you managed to reach the toilets, you'll find a locked stall. "Ah ha!," you cry, "I must spend a penny!" - or rather 10 pee, because that's all the program will accept: neither 10p nor 10 pence will do, it has to be pee. Funny joke.
Again, when you've found the gun which is hidden in the toilet, you don't seem to be able to actually shoot anyone with it. Eddie, who turns up right at the beginning of the adventure, just stands there and lets you try. Obviously, he knows more than you do, and the program won't let you. It was only later that I thought of typing in Pull Trigger but by that time I'd lost the gun and any inclination to go back and find it.
Eddie, by the way, seems singularly innocuous. He'll let you search his laboratory without any complaints. The little old man past the coffee machine is another matter entirely - just try and touch his invention and he'll tear you apart, necessitating a restart.
By the way, the coffee may be the answer to a rather nagging little problem you will face - thirst.
That's basically it. Unoriginal, unexciting and not very challenging. At £2.99 it's OK if you're an adventure buff with a rainy day to fill and nothing else in the cupboard, and it might make a reasonable first adventure, but there are far better budget adventures around.
Reviewer: Gary Rook
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