Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Text Adventure
Authors : Peter Jones and Trevor Lever
Standalone Release(s) : 1984: HAMPSTEAD, Melbourne House, £9.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron Side A/BBC Side B
Actual compatibility : As stated
Supplier : MELBOURNE HOUSE, Castle Yard House, Castle Yard, RICHMOND
Disc compatibility : Unknown
"HAMPSTEAD is an adventure game for would-be social climbers. It is a quest but not for gold. Your aim is to reach the pinnacle of social status - to become a somebody. So lie, cheat, steal and defraud. You KNOW it makes sense.
"Reviews of HAMPSTEAD on Spectrum 48K and Commodore 64:
"'Wickedly funny and highly original' - Commodore Horizons.
"'The game itself is very funny, with a joke of some description around every corner' - Time Out."
"CLASSIFICATION : Adventure
LEVEL : Suitable for BEGINNER to EXPERIENCED Adventurer
AVERAGE COMPLETITION TIME : Several weeks
Written in 100% machine language
Loading time : 5 minutes approx."
A New Type Of Adventure Game
HAMPSTEAD is an adventure game for would-be social climbers. For those who have never played one before, an adventure game depends on the use of brainpower. Speed of reaction isn't so important. What matters is the ability to solve complex problems, which get harder the further you proceed in the game.
Most computer adventures involve a quest of some sort, usually for hidden treasure. There will often be dragons to kill and nasty goblins to avoid.
HAMPSTEAD is a quest, but not for gold. The aim of it is to reach the pinnacle of social status, and acquiring wealth is only one part of the problem. If you wish to go up in the world, you also have to gain the admiration and respect of your fellow men, and there's more to that than a fat bank balance.
In HAMPSTEAD, it helps to know something about art - or rather, to give the impression you do. You must wear the right clothes, be seen in the right places, live in the right house with the right partner and use the correct mode of transport. You must meet the right soft of people and say the right things to them.
Although the old school tie never does any harm, your most important tool is simply the ruthless and skilful use of your natural cunning. At the start of the game you are a nobody whose aim is to become a somebody. So lie, cheat, steal and defraud. You KNOW it makes sense.
The crucial point to remember at all times is this: you cannot attain HAMPSTEAD just by going there. Your task is not merely to visit the place but to become a Hampstead person. Hampstead people may seem terribly casual, as if anything goes, but frankly you will not be invited into their homes unless you are quite clearly one of them.
As the adventure begins, you are sitting around at home in your dingy little house. You have nothing.
As you go and sign on to the dole, make sure you're decent and have some means of getting around. It is advisable to explore as much of your immediate area as possible since you will find things that later prove useful. Some of the things you find may seem useful, but aren't. And some of the things which at first appear useless may actually turn out to be rather vital.
When the program is fully loaded, you will find yourself in a dingy flat somewhere in north-west London, watching "3-2-1" on television. This really is a depressing, degrading position to be in, so get moving immediately.
To get mobile, socially and physically, just use the simple compass directions north, south, east, west. Sometimes you can go north-east, north-west, south-east or south-west. You will also occasionally need to go up or down. All of these movements can be abbreviated thus: N, S, E, W, NE, NW, SE, SW, U, D.
This system applies whatever your mode of transport is, be it foot, bicycle, train or car. There are places where transport is essential and where you are better off on foot.
Apart from movements, most of your commands will be in the form of VERB NOUN. You will frequently wish to pick up things or put them down, e.g GET KEY, DROP KEY. If you want to investigate your surroundings more closely, SEARCH ROOM/OFFICE/SHOP or whatever the location.
Don't forget that doors, gates and the like can be opened and closed, locked and unlocked. Sometimes you may need to get into something locked by unconventional means!
Having found an interesting object, you may wish to look at it more closely, in which case EXAMINE DOGS or READ MAGAZINE. In many cases it will take a while to discover the correct command for what you want to do...but that's part of the fun!
Other Useful Commands
I for Inventory. This will give you a list of what you have with you and what you are wearing.
R for Re-describe. You will need to do this if the screen is filled with messages and commands, and you want to remind yourself where you are and what objects are visible.
QUIT if you have had enough social climbing for one day. This is how you throw in the towel until next time.
SAVE/LOAD to enable you to save the adventure up to the point you have reached and resume later. Check your computer manual for instructions.
Some Useful Verbs
ABSTAIN EXAMINE LEAVE REMOVE
ACCEPT FIND LOCK RIDE
BET FORCE LOOK RING
BOARD FLY MARRY SEARCH
BUY GET MEET STEAL
CASH GIVE OFFER TAKE
CLOSE HELP OPEN TRANSLATE
DRIVE HIDE PICK TURN
DROP JOIN PRISE UNLOCK
EAT JUMP QUEUE WATCH
ENTER KISS READ WEAR
"You are sure to find Hampstead an entertaining romp up the social ladder." Sinclair User.
"Hampstead is an excellent example of a new type of game. It's a concept." Computer Trade Weekly
Instructions' Source : HAMPSTEAD (Melbourne House) Back and Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User)
This is not so much an adventure as a way of life. Superficially, the game seems to be an ordinary text adventure that requires you to get to Hampstead Heath to complete the game. However it is less a case of solving the game and more a case of attaining the solution.
Hampstead Heath is one of the posh parts of London, and since you start the game in a slum your problem is not just finding your way there but becoming the type of person who deserves to be there.
I confess that I didn't get very far and so I'm obviously doomed to remain a total slob forever. Nonetheless I can give you a few tips to get going.
The first thing you have to do after leaving the house is to sign on the dole. You'll obviously need your UB40, but also make sure you have some transport or you're liable to get mugged. Since you start the game naked you will need clothes, unless you want to get arrested for indecent exposure. You'll find the edge of the Heath close by and it pays to sit back and admire the scenery.
A nearby maze is easy to map, though if you manage to use what you find then please let me know how you did it. I used my money to buy another means of transport and thus found my way to another section of the adventure.
Apart from satisfying my appetite - though I must have done a "runner" as I had no money to pay for my meal - I only managed to get my pockets picked in the cinema, so any help from readers would be welcome.
I found it difficult to relate to the game. It took about five minutes before I realised what a UB40 was!
There are some extremely witty thinks in the program and I didn't get most of them first time either. If you manage to solve the game you can send off to Melbourne House for a diploma in social climbing, though I hope you'll also send me the solution.
Overall, I was left feeling somewhat baffled by this game, though I hasten to add that the problem is obviously mine and not the program's. I would suggest, however, that you try before you buy.
Merlin, ELECTRON USER 3. 5