Producer: Digital Fantasia, 48K £9.95
Author: Brian Howarth
The object of the game is to collect all ten little indians, which are figurines amounting to a fantastic fortune. It starts unconventionally enough inside a train carriage with no apparent way out, especially as you can see the countryside whizzing past the windows. After a certain number of goes the train crashes! Getting the train to stop takes some experimenting, but when it does, it pulls up at the station of Lower Massington, which turns out to be another problem, in as much as the game really gets going in Upper Massington, in the manor house which belonged to the late Major Johnston-Smythe! Here the fabulous gold figurine is hidden, but so are ten identical ones made from worthless metals which will guide you to the fortune itself. Be warned, many other fortune hunters have had a go and never been heard from again. Usual on/off text/graphics fadllty of Digital Fantasia games, and a convoluted plot worthy of Agatha Christie in this highly recommended adventure.
When Major Johnstone-Smythe died, he authorised all his fortune to be converted to gold and fashioned into a figurine to be hidden away somewhere in the grounds of his estate. He did not want his fortune inherited - it was his wish that it should be earned.
He therefore commissioned ten similar figures to be made, worthless until all brought together, when they would divulge the whereabouts of the golden figure. These were well hidden by the Major before his death, using military knowledge and tactics. It is reported that, of those who have sought the figures, only a handful have returned.
So it is that you find yourself joining in the search in Ten Little Indians, one of the Mysterious Adventures. I found it to have an interesting plot and, although not too difficult, it has many a concealed snare to decoy the unwary Adventurer. In one or two locations, just pausing to consider my next move turned out to be a fatal mistake. This gave the game that little extra urgency, stimulating excitement and interest to the extent that, once started, I just had fight through to a successful end.
That is not to say the game is too easy - judging by the latest batch of Helpline letters, many readers are having problems! The main difficulty seems to be - ah, that would be telling! My advice is to keep things simple and not try to be so tidy if you are to be successful!
The Atari version, which I played, unfortunately does not have graphics, as do the Spectrum, Commodore and Dragon versions. However, I did like the split screen and use of coloured text which was easy on the eye.
Ten Little Indians is from Digital Fantasia for the BBC 32k a Spectrum 48k versions, and from Channel 8 Software for Atari, Dragon and Commodore versions, all at £9.95.
TEN INDIANS AMBUSH SPECTRUM
MICRO: Spectrum 48K
SUPPLIER: Digital Fantasia Ltd, 24 Norbreck Rd, Norbreck, Blackpool
Many of you will be familiar with this Mysterious Adventure, as it has previously been released for other popular micros, but this is its first time out for the Spectrum.
The scenario is based on the death of one Major Johnstone-Smythe who, to stop any of his money-grabbing relatives inheriting his fortune, had all his assets converted to gold and cast into a figurine which he then hid.
He also had 10, worthless figurines made from various materials and hidden in and around his mansion. A nephew informed the World of the Major's activities and it is generally accepted that one cannot obtain the treasure without 10 Little Indians. You, needless to say, are going to attempt to recover it, although many others of a similar ilk have never been seen again.
I have to make the point that this adventure is definitely not designed for beginners. The tricks and traps start at location one and appear with alarming regularity thereafter. I have, so far, encountered four death-traps, two extremely complicated mazes and several apparent dead ends which turned out to be anything but.
After five hours work on the adventure I have found only two Indians and some to yet another dead-end. I know there are more locations to explore but I can't find them. No-one should expect quick results.
I hate waiting for a picture to form at each location before I can continue so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that one can switch to text-only simply by pressing the enter-key. The graphic displays are good and the text is concisely informative. Inputs are of the normal variety and a save-game feature is included.
The packaging is sensible and well presented and includes the offer of a help-sheet for those, like myself, who feel they may need it.
I think I can safely say that Ten Little Indians is value for money and should attract just as many addicts as any other quality adventure.
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