LUNAR adventure awaits anyone brave enough to accompany the infamous Sloane Ranger, Charlemagne Fotheringham-Grunes, on his mission to save the earth.
Odin's Nodes of Yesod is startlingly similar in theme to Quicksilva's Bugaboo but there the similarity ends.
You play the pan of the intrepid Charlie who has to search the caverns of the moon for a monolith, which scientists believe is used to transmit coded messages through space.
On docking, your best bet is to find a friendly mole who will be of considerable help later on in the game. Moles are able to gnaw through some cavern walls, opening up larger areas for exploration. For some unknown reason, Charlie keeps the mole in the helmet of his space suit.
Dropping through one of the many craters, Charlie descends to a world inhabited by many wonderful alien types. Fish swim quite happily in zero gravity, firebirds and walking limes stalk the cavern floors - all of which will send you reeling. Dancing teddy-bears decrease your energy, but the mole can be sent to kill them.
Dressed in a space suit, Charlie is able to somersault from platform to platform as he makes his way through the caverns. The graphic detail is excellent.
Eight alchiems - unidentifiable objects - must be picked up if you are to find the monolith which is cunningly hidden.
A grid at the bottom of the screen keeps count of alchiems collected, energy levels and has a real time clock. If your energy gets too low you may have to sit down for a rest.
One alien in a red pressure suit must be avoided at all costs - he cannot be killed. As soon as you have found an alchiem he will be along to steal it.
Control of movement when switching from Charlie to the mole is simple and animation is smooth - except when two bears land on the same spot, when they flicker wildly.
The game more than makes up for the reams of waffling prose, spelling mistakes and lack of story on the cassette inlay. What are Rhodendendrons anyway? Despite that, Nodes of Yesod is definitely worth adding to your library of games.
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Sinclair
CHARLEMAGNE Fotheringham-Grunes is back again in a souped-up 128 version of Nodes of Yesod. Charlie gets sent to the moon to terminate the emission of signals from a large monolith of alien origin which... are you really reading all this?
What you get is a slick, fast Underwurlde lookalike with Charlie somersaulting gaily around lunar caverns, tracking down the eight alchiems which are the key to halting the monolithic transmissions.
The graphics are clear and detailed, with a fine variety of monsters, some of which are deadlier than others. Nastier creatures include a mysterious red spaceman who eats your alchiems, and shimmering creatures which cause you to lose energy.
The sound effects are extremely good. The initial music is faintly reminiscent of an old Watch with Mother theme tune, but the music in the game is rather more atmospheric. Speech has also been attempted with varying results, but Charlie's cries for help are surprisingly audible, even if they sound like Kermit with a frog in his throat.
Nodes of Yesod should take you a long time to complete. It looks good, sounds good, and has enough quirks and surprises to keep your interest for quite a while.
An enjoyable game and no disgrace to the 128. However, other than the addition of music and speech, Nodes of Yesod remains the same as the 48K version.
Programmers: The Odin team
Joystick: Kempston. Sinclair, cursor
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