Spytrek Adventure
by Peter Torrance, GH
Americana Software Ltd
Computer & Videogames Issue 59, September 1986   page(s) 67

SUPPLIER: Americana Software/US Gold
MACHINE: Amstrad, Spectrum 48K, Commodore 64; Commodore 16 (test only)
PRICE: £2.99

A government agent, realising he was in danger, hid some secret plans somewhere in Europe just before he was killed. Your job is to find them and bring them back.

You start to find yourself in the most comfortable place in the car in which you are travelling. It's a hearse, and you are in the coffin! Dumped in a storeroom, you are left to your own devices to obtain the necessary equipment for your mission, including your passport, you've been taken to the airport.

You play the par of Mike Rodot, a spy. Had this game been published by Firebird, you would no doubt have been famous reporter Ed Lines. The author of this little piece is Peter Torrance, already known for Subsunk and Seabase Delta. Very much in the same throwaway style as its predecessors, the prompt asks: "What now them Mike?. .." and often gives the same atmosphere-destroying reply: "Thanks, but no thanks!"

I have my suspicions that Ed was lined up for this job, and the program already written before the starring role was given to Mike. Indeed, if you try to buy a drink at the airport bar, the author slips with the reply: "I'm not thirsty, Ed!"

A graphic adventure, it has the annoying habit of redrawing the picture unnecessarily when only the location text needs to be changed. There is a rather illogical trigger command at the airport, in that you have to complete one action before something entirely unrelated can be achieved.

The vocabulary is claimed to be 'large' with a flexible parser, so that, for example, "Take the pill and swallow it" is understood. But there are parsers and parsers, and I found ALL in "Take all" to be treated as an unrecognised object. "Take the wig and beard," appeared to be understood, but unfortunately only the first item ended up in my inventory.

Although quite enjoyable, it is too jokey to give the right atmosphere for its subject.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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