by Ivan Horn, Andrew P. Deakin
Budgie Budget Software
Crash Issue 31, August 1986   (1986-07-31)   page(s) 108

Labyrinthion features a magic scroll, a labyrinth (well that's a shocker), a hero, several baddies and a scenario that runs as follows:

Trapped within a dusty labyrinth you, as the hero of this fair tale, must escape with your life by avoiding the far from gentle touch of the cave's inhabitants. Trouble free travel within the subterranean passages is heavily restricted by doors that link the five sectors of the maze and require four objects to be in your possession before access is allowed. A quartet of compasses, maps or water bottles acts as a key to the doors between sectors, so your first main task is to hunt for these objects.

Lots of roaming evil beings troll from cave to cave in search of tasty morsels, and as far as they're concerned you are a very tasty morsel indeed. The action is viewed from above, as in Wizard's Lair, to which the game bears more than a passing resemblance. Swarming baddies constantly home in on you, sapping energy all the while. Their energy-sapping activities can be curtailed with a good old fashioned blast with one of the two weapons supplied.

Nine pieces of magic scroll must be neatly placed in your knapsack before they will obligingly point in the direction of the exit.

Control keys: K up, M down, Z left, X right, L fire, P pick up, V shield, S select, F change weapon, 5 pause
Joystick: none
Keyboard play: no problems
Use of colour: bright and cheerful
Graphics: a bit flickery
Sound: minimal - just a few effects really
Skill levels: one
Screens: 256

'Graphically, this is Wizard's Lair, with the exception of Pothole Pete, and the flickering characters found in the labyrinth. Playability-wise, it's totally different: Wizard's Lair was great fun! The instructions are pretty good but aren't immediately readable. I couldn't find enough to do to make it challenging, and therefore I got bored quickly. General enjoyment, too, wanes after about ten minutes. The sound is well below par, and the tune on the Intro screen is awful. Okay, okay, it's really cheap, but give me Spellbound any day. Take my advice and spend your money elsewhere'

'This game resembles Wizard's Lair and looks almost the same but with different monsters and a different man. Overall, I found the game fast and lots of fun to play. The graphics are well drawn and detailed, especially around the screen edges. Colour is well used and the sound is good and clear, with firing and getting killed noises. As more and more cheapo games come on the market, this is one of the better ones- I'd recommend it.'

'After a spate of Atic Atac-ish type games before last Christmas the craze started to die down, but of course there is always the budget market. Budgie have published a relatively good product but it suffers from very bad collision detection. The colour is well used with lots around the outside and all moving characters of the same colour. I felt that the play area should have been increased in size by quite a bit as it only occupies about one third of the screen. The sound is very basic, just a few spot effects and a very bland tune to open with. I didn't much like the idea of the lives being eaten away with no gauge or indication of losing the hues. I don't think this will appeal to all of the adventure freaks but it is very simple and the price suits it right.'

Use of Computer60%
Getting Started66%
Addictive Qualities59%
Value for Money62%
Summary: General Rating: Not a bad game for the money.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 05, May 1986   page(s) 30

It's back to the atac on the atic with this game.

Based very roughly on the concept of Ultimate's game, the idea is to move your man about a maze of rooms, avoiding the usual crowd of flashes. You're able to fire what look like sea-gulls at the oncoming masses, but it does little good as they re-generate instantly and throw themselves back into the fray. Doors lock behind you and then just as suddenly re-open; little electronic pings announce that you have found a rare treasure - oh yes, the excitement fair plods along!

The basic plot revolves around the search through a maze for nine parts of a scroll that provides the route to the exit. The maze is split into five sectors and certain objects are required before you can pass between these sectors. Various controls are available for protection, but by far the most useful keyboard control is the 'Pause' key.

The main problem with the game is that the area of action is just too small - trying to sort out your character's sprite from the fluttering mass of enemy followers is just ridiculous.

With a lot of patience and a meagre wallet, of course this game is adequate - indeed, with a 256-room maze to explore, it should keep the most avid map-maker happy for hours. But, with so much well-conceived software around of this type. Labyrinthion stands little chance of becoming a classic.

Value For Money7/10
Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 52, July 1986   page(s) 44

Remember when Ultimate meant Play the Game, not Deja Vu? Remember how we all thrilled to Atic Atac and went wild over Sabre Wulfe? As the Ashby team went 3D, out came Wizard's Lair from Bubble Bus - sort of Wulfe in the Atic. It was immensely playable and cheaper than the Ultimate titles.

The process of evolution being what it is, the inevitable result of this progression is now a cut-price Wizard's Lair - a Wizard's Studio Flat, if you will. Its title is Labyrinthion and it's set in a labyrinth - which shouldn't a-maze you.

There are nine parts of a scroll scattered around the screens and it's your task to pick up the mystical waste paper. The maze divides into five sections and to pass from one to another you'll need a number of objects - four compasses, maps, water bottles or hour glasses. Delivered to the drop point these will make a key appear somewhere within the sector and that will open the necessary doors.

Inevitably the caves are alive with nasties. For protection from frogs, rats and the rest there are fly swatters, buckets and mouse traps and you also have two weapons to defend yourself against the strength sapping vermin. Weapons can be replenished from the fill point and changed with thef key.

It's a busy scenario but it over-reaches itself. If this had been nice and simple it might have provided a pleasing diversion. As it is, it's often confusing'and difficult to get into with a horribly unclear status panel.

When it eventually crashed I wasn't desperately surprised and certainly felt no desire to reload. If evolution is survival of the fittest, this review is an obituary.

Label: Budgie
Price: £2.99
Memory: 48K
Reviewer: Jerry Muir


Summary: A reminder of the old Ultimate Atic Atac days. Now that kind of things sells as budget material.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

All information in this page is provided by ZXSR instead of ZXDB