Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 6, NO. 9 / JANUARY 1988

STrange Adventure Worlds

Kings Quest III, Space Quest, Tass Times in Tonetown

Reviewed by SOL and REBECCA GUBER

King's Quest III, Space Quest and Tass Times in Tonetown are three adventure games for the ST. They're all similar-each one presents a world that the player must navigate-but the differences among those worlds are striking.

King's Quest III, subtitled "To Heir is Human," doesn't really begin where King's Quest II leaves off, as you might expect. Instead, it has a much different object-you have to escape from the evil magician Manannan and find your way home. Like other Sierra On-Line games, it has a small character onscreen that you control with either a joystick or mouse. In King's Quest III the main character is a boy named Gwydion who must gather all the necessary ingredients to perform magic spells- flying, storm-bringing, transforming someone into a cat and even invisibility. The accompanying manual explains the incantations needed for each spell.

This game plays much like King's Quest II-you have to navigate through a series of mazes, for instance. You can save and restore the game, and put a note into the saved game to show where you left off. There's also a clock onscreen-you have to perform certain actions within a time limit. The graphics are more sophisticated than in earlier games. For example, at one point Gwydion walks toward a mirror that shows his reflection; as he moves closer to it, his image becomes larger, and when he walks away, the mirror shows his back. There are many scenes for the different lands Gwydion comes to, and the graphics seem more involved. There are times when three different characters are moving around. It really is like playing an animated cartoon.

King's Quest III is a game of medium difficulty-you won't finish it in a week or two. Though it's similar in layout to King's Quest II, with its different themes and the time constraints the game becomes much harder. If you've played one of the King's Quest games, or even if you haven't, you are in for a real treat- this is the hardest one so far, but it's also the best, and I recommend it strongly.

Space Quest is another animated graphic adventure from Sierra OnLine. This time you're on a spaceship, and the object is to save the world from the evil Sariens. You have to fly to a nearby planet, then fly back up to the Sarien spaceship, which you board and explore.

It's very easy to get killed in Space Quest-once you're on the Sarien ship, there are aliens almost everywhere that will shoot at you, and the game pops up with smart remarks if you're unfortunate enough to get yourself killed. Space Quest has an option allowing you to save the game several times; as in King's Quest III, you can leave yourself a message in the save. There are also pop-out dialog boxes to tell you things. There are several arcade-type games within Space Quest-they're difficult, and the puzzles are tricky. The background graphics are very good, and there are lots of them. The game shows you two levels of landscape at a time, such as two spaceship or cave floors, so you know when you are on the right track.

Other nice features? You can put the game on a hard disk, speeding up its operations. (You still need the first disk to load the game.) From a hard disk, you can get killed but then reload a saved game in less then 30 seconds.

I liked Space Quest, though it's fairly difficult, and I think some of the puzzles aren't really fair. But if you want a medium-difficulty space adventure game with lots of puzzles, pick up a copy of Space Quest.

Are you Ultratone or a total tourist? You won't even understand the question until you play Tass Times In Tonetown, an unusual graphics adventure game from Activision. The object is to find Gramps, who went through a space warp door into a strange world called Tonetown; you must follow and rescue him. Gramps's dog comes with you-in Tonetown he's a talking-dog newspaper reporter named Ennio who can tell you about this bizarre new world.

Tonetown is full of trendy punk rockers; to be "tass," you must wear the right clothes and talk the right way, or you'll be labeled a tourist. There are also dangers here-be careful when you explore, or the crocagators will get you! This game really shows off the ST's graphics and sound. The graphics are colorful and detailed with some animation, and the punk colors are well-chosen. It's easy to play because you do not need to type the commands. You can click on choices from a menu to talk to someone, look at something or pick something up. It's easy to do and speeds up the game. You can also save and reload the game from a menu; each save is numbered, but you have to remember where you were.

There are some things I don't like about Tass Times in Tonetown. The noises sometimes drive me crazy and you can turn them down but not off. I also don't like the fact that you have to perform the actions in a certain order. These caveats aside, though, I can recommend this game. It's very colorful and easy to play, but hard to solve-there's a newspaper included with the game that contains lots of clues. I like the idea of the punk-rocker world, but I still haven't gotten Gramps out of Tonetown.

Sierra On-Line
Coarsegold,Ca 93614
(209) 683-6858

Sierra On-Line
Coarsegold, Ca 93614
(209) 683-6858

Activision, Inc.
P.O. Box 287
Mountain View, CA 94039
(415) 960-0410