ONE TO BLOW YOUR BRAINS OUT!
I am always perturbed when I get a letter about a game such as Manor of Madness, a title I could not trace. All became clear when I received a review copy the game from Ireland. Rory Walsh, or Celtic Software, explained that the game had been on trial on the Irish market and was about to be unleashed on an unsuspecting British public.
Manor Madness runs on a Spectrum and is a text Adventure in which the player, Leonid Smirnoff, must discover the whereabouts of a top secret file of Soviet spies on Manhattan island.
Having traced the list to the asylum of a French psychologist Dr Iyam Potti, housed in an old Yorkshire manor, you have been bopped on the head by an escaping lunatic and wake up in a strange green bedroom.
I dealt with a somewhat hazardous overflow and escaped my room. Then I came upon a nasty balding man - save game here is my best tip! After being forced to play his little game of Russian Roulette a few times, I decided it was written by a sadist, to be played by masochists!
One of the things I liked was the ability to look at and examine things - a feature all too often missing in Adventures. I also liked its instant response, its clear yellow on black text and its gentle humour.
Being an Irish game, it amused me to discover, upon closer examination, that a loose floorboard was securely fixed with rusty nails. Or was I imagining things? I couldn't get the message to display a second time. Had I forgotten the wording of my command, or was there a leprechaun in there smiling at me?
Only one thing annoyed me. I badly needed to recall my location details and couldn't - until I discovered that the R key did just that. I had a non-production copy in a plain wrapper, however, and no instructions to go on.
Manor of Madness is from Celtic Software for the 48k Spectrum priced £5.95. If it isn't in the shops when you read this, you can get a copy direct from Celtic, at 77 Willow Park Avenue, Glasnevin North, Dublin 11, Eire.
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