Alchemist


by Fred Gray, Ian Weatherburn, Paul Lindale, Gary McNamara
Imagine Software Ltd
1983
Sinclair User Issue 24, Mar 1984   page(s) 3

Memory: 48K
Price: £5.50
Joystick: Kempston, AGF, Sinclair, Protek, Fuller, 12L

Adventure and arcade games are becoming more complex and of a better standard all the time, so it is no surprise that a company like Imagine has created a mixture of the two genres with The Alchemist for the 48K Spectrum.

You take the part of the alchemist who is searching for the parts of an ancient spell scroll which, when put together, will destroy an evil wizard. Your character can move around on the ground in human form or can transform into the guise of a giant bird and take to the air. All that can be performed with the keyboard or with many types of joystick.

To reach the parts of the scroll you must move past various evil monsters, including a colourful butterfly and a sheet-like ghost, which are all animated cleverly.

At first sight the game, with its cartoon maze and wizard as the central character, may remind you of the Ultimate Atic Atac. The extra features of the game, however, compensate for the similarity and there is much more variation in the maze construction and the creatures which will be seeking your blood.

If the attraction of the game is not sufficient and you still want something different you will be startled to learn that imagine has the dubious honour of being the first software house to produce a gold-coloured cassette and cassette box. That adds interest to the game and gives a hint of what it contains when you learn that alchemists seek to turn lead into gold.

The combination of excellent cartoon animation and depth of plot should make The Alchemist a winner. It can be obtained from Imagine.


Gilbert Factor: 7/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 32, Nov 1984   page(s) 31

Combining arcade skills with the logical thought required by adventures has gained immense popularity since the release of Halls of the Things. The Alchemist, challenging and a visual delight, is one of the best.

You must assemble the ingredients for the spell to defeat an evil warlock. To do that involves moving around a complex of rooms and caverns which each require a different strategy to negotiate the hazards. You can either walk in human form or change into a spectacular eagle to fly between levels or across chasms. There are many objects and minor spells to find and use in the special situations.

Position 29/50


Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue Annual 1985   page(s) 47,48

SOFTWARE SCENE

While some software houses are taking the Spectrum to its limits and beyond others doggedly continue to churn out ever more diabolical pieces of programmed junk. John Gilbert present a personal pick of the bunch, and Chris Bourne take an irreverent look at the dwindling ZX-81 software scene. Their talents are combinedd in listing the Top Ten Turkeys of 1984. Let the reader be warned.

SPECTRUM SOFTWARE

A cynic may argue that development within the software market in 1984 was non-existent. The same type of game appeared as those which took the lead in 1983, the most popular being of the arcade variety. The programs were written in the same style and to please the same type of customers.

That is only a superficial view, however, and if you look at the games market as a whole, dividing it up into sectors such as strategy, arcade and adventure, you will see that substantial and sophisticated changes have taken place. Despite what some pundits have said you will find that the world of computer games is still buzzing with life.

£5.50
Imagine

Following the successes in arcade games many software companies incorporated arcade movement into adventures. The movement started back in 1983 with the Carnell Black Crystal trilogy. Later Imagine, now no longer with us, released what some believed then to be the ultimate in graphic adventures, The Alchemist for the 48K Spectrum.

You take the part of the alchemist who is searching for the parts of an ancient spell scroll which, when put together, will destroy an evil wizard. Your character can move around on the ground in human form or can transform into the guise of a giant bird and take to the air. All that can be performed with the keyboard or with many types of joystick.

To reach the parts of the scroll you must move past various evil monsters, including a colourful butterfly and a sheet-like ghost, which are all animated cleverly.

At first sight the game, with its cartoon maze and wizard as the central character, may remind you of the Ultimate Atic Atac. The extra features of the game, however, compensate for the similarity and there is much more variation in the maze construction and the creatures which will be seeking your blood.


Transcript by Chris Bourne

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