Spellcasting 101. (computer game) (evaluation)
by Russ Ceccola
IBM PC and compatibles, 640K RAM, CGA, EGA, dr VGA graphics; joystick recommended--$39.95
Also available for the Amiga (39.95), Atari ST (39.95), and Commodore 64 ($29.95) MICROPROSE 180 Lakefront Dr. Hunt Valley, MD 21030 (800) 876-1151
With Spellcasting 101, game designer Steve Meretzky (Zork Zero) has taken a text-and-graphics interface and revamped it for gamers new to text adventures. The strong plot and Meretzky's irreverence give the game a unique flavor. You play the role of Ernie Eaglebeak, a nerd who lusts after the hand of Lola Tigerbelly and who aspires to be a famous sorcerer.
The game is separated into chapters, the first of which involves Ernie's escape from home in Port Gekko. Chapter 2 begins at Sorcerer University, where Spellcasting 101 really gets started. An evil bunch of hooded ruffians ransack the school, and everybody disappears. Solving this mystery is the goal of the game, and it involves putting together the pieces of the Sorcerer's Appliance.
The interface for Spellcasting 101 is one of the easiest I've ever seen for such a game. A window at the top of the screen can show a picture of your location, an overhead map, your inventory, your status, or a verbal description of your current location. You can toggle these options with the function keys. For those who have no desire or talent for typing, don't fear. Gameplay isn't hampered by the point-and-click interface.
Spellcasting 101 features outstanding graphics. Some of the pictures are a little risque, but you can play the game in naughty or nice mode. Frankly, I didn't see much difference.)
All of this ribaldry is easily installed on a hard drive. It supports most graphics modes and the Ad Lib and Roland sound boards. The game's puzzles are challenging but not so hard that they make you want to quit. As sophomoric fun without a trace of redeeming social value, Spellcasting 101 appeals to the Animal House in all of us.
IBM PC and compatibles--$59.95
Distributed by MicroProse
180 lakefront Dr.
Hunt Valley, 21030