Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Graphical Adventure
Standalone Release(s) : 1984: SERPENT'S LAIR, Comsoft, £6.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron
Actual compatibility : Electron. Electron version plays fast on BBC.
Supplier : COMSOFT, 67 Kent Road, Harrogate, N YORKS HG1 2NH.
Tel: 0423 57464
Disc compatibility : Unknown
SERPENT'S LAIR is a graphical adventure game. Fly your magic carpet around the world meeting animals as diverse as the Polar Bear, the Emperor Penguin and the Comodo Dragon of Indonesia. Help the wizard find the treasure, solve the riddle of the Sphinx, feed the Polar Bear with fish and help the Giant Panda find his bamboo.
Instructions' Source : SERPENT'S LAIR (Comsoft) Back Inlay
Review (Electron User)
This adventure program is designed to be used by children in the age range seven to twelve. It concerns the rather unpleasant Princess Ambrosia who was sent on a mission to find the King's treasure. The trouble is she found a good sweet shop in Bognor Regis and there she stopped, stuffing herself with sweets.
Guess what? You are sent in her place, equipped with a magic carpet. Most unusually for an adventure, the action takes place on planet Earth, with geographical locations such as Loch Ness, the Arizona Desert and Indonesia. Many of these places are drawn out in high resolution colour graphics.
The locations are in their (reasonably) correct geographical positions so that if you go east from London you will get to Egypt or west from Japan takes you to India. It is recommended in the instructions that the game is played with an atlas, and this, of course, gives the program some educational value. A number of animals are met on the way, ranging from polar bears to tarantula spiders (again, mostly in their correct regions) and it is necessary to aid these or outwit them.
An experienced adventurer would solve the problems with ease. They are designed to be easy, so that when the tiger wants meat it will be found near at hand. My own son, aged seven, got tremendous satisfaction from working out how to get past the Comodo Dragon. The program comes with a couple of sheets of paper which give you the story so far, and some general instructions for getting going. These are invaluable to the novice adventurer.
There is also a function key strip; the keys being set up for ten common commands.
There seemed to be one bug here as the GET command did not work.
You are even given the phone number of Comsoft's chief adventurer which you can phone if stuck. My family nearly resorted to this service to solve the riddle of the Sphinx.
This is a most satisfying program. It offers a gentle introduction to adventurers and could well suit many adults as well as children. It was thoroughly enjoyed by my son, who took three days, with help, to solve it.
The package is priced very reasonably and the program loads and runs just as well on a BBC Micro and could be of interest to the growing number of schools which use both machines.
Rog Frost, ELECTRON USER 2. 8