an adventure takes time. Do you want to be glued to your Amiga,
unable to take a coffee break in case you lose the thread
of what you are doing? You do? Then you will not go far wrong
if you play Jinxter, written by Magnetic Scrolls and distributed
has been around for a short while, but it is only by spending
many hours at the keyboard that I can judge it. Previous games
from the same source, The Pawn and The Guild of Thieves, had
an enormous amount of hype and publicity applied to them.
Good games they were, but somewhat overrated by all the talk
of wonderful parsers and great graphics.
has some great pictures to see along the way, but also secretes
some solid classical puzzles for you to solve. It is not a
terribly difficult game, but will keep you guessing for a
time, even if you decipher all the clues in the smart package.
action takes place in Aquitania, on a world not so very different
from ours. There are buses to run you over and telephones
to ring at the most inappropriate moments. There are fairground
roundabouts and trains to miss. Magicians, Green Witches and
immortal Guardians. The Guardians generally watch out for
people's safety and well being. They seem to have a penchant
for herringbone suits and live on cheese sandwiches. The Green
Witches have been a thorn in the side of the Guardians for
as long as anyone can remember. Their aim is to cause as much
bad luck to all as possible.
years ago a magician called Turani created a magic charm bracelet
which would inhibit the powers of the witches. Although they
cannot destroy the bracelet while it is whole, the witches
have managed to bribe certain members of the public to remove
its individual charms. It is now so devoid of protection that
the chief witch, Jannedor, is almost in a position to destroy
its powers entirely. The less charms the bracelet has, the
more bad luck the witches have to spread around and the more
work there is for the Guardians. They are now very short of
manpower so have selected you to be their agent. You must
find the missing charms to the bracelet and re-assemble it
to restore its magical power.
after you have had this explained to you, you get a telephone
call for help from an old friend, Xam. It later turns out
that Xam has realised what is happening and has already tried
to rescue the magic charms from their new owners. The Green
Witches found out and have kidnapped him. While you are saving
the world, you may as well rescue Xam as well.
game starts with you travelling home by bus. Check your inventory,
look around and just retain your wits and you will shortly
be walking through your front door. Check out your house thoroughly
and collect anything you think will be useful. You can carry
quite a lot with you, and there is no point in having to come
back unless you have to. In this game you can look under things.
the first half of Jinxter you travel by reasonably conventional
means and can move freely backwards and forwards between locations,
so don't panic if you realize you have left something vital
behind. Into the second half it may be quicker to start again.
first task is to get to Xam's house. The farmer has put a
ferocious-looking bull in the field you usually cross on your
way there. What don't you usually do to bulls? Xam's house
is a mess, he is not the neatest of people. Perhaps you can
find some clues for useful items to help you on your quest.
here there are a few side trips before you finally cross the
lake to the village. By this time you will have found a number
of useful things, think carefully of what you want to carry
on from here, and visit the Clockmaker last.
are now into the second half of the game and the pace hots
up; be prepared to run if you have to. Once in the Green Witches'
castle you are nearly there. With a bit of luck you may find
Xam and finish what you came to do. Just stay clear of Jannedor
- she's decidedly lethal.
is well thought out and has reams of atmospheric text. The
graphics are excellent and well sprinkled throughout the game.
The parser is Magnetic Scrolls' specialty and is very good,
even though it is sometimes frustrating trying to be clever
enough to match up to it.
may have some oil with you and want to oil some rusty door
runners. OIL RUNNERS is not good enough, you have to be very
explicit: OIL RUNNERS WITH OIL is what it expects from you.
There are a number of occasions where such dumb loyalty to
its cause can cause similar frustration.
is only a minor irritation. The only real problem with clever
parsers is that sometimes they allow you to be too clever
for your own boots. One example is the mousetrap. If you want
to use it, just drop it; don't try to place it somewhere special.
I tried to be clever and it took me ages to realize that the
direct approach was all that was needed.
Scrolls does not yet have an OOPS command, so SAVE your game
position often, not because you may die suddenly but simply
so that you can return in time to get something you may have
is good fun and is suitable for adventurers whatever their
experience. A number of coded clues are provided, that offer
help - but do not tell all - to those in need of a helping
of laughs with the puzzles.
could be outside your door.
of logical puzzles to solve.
parser, if a little pedantic.
cost a great deal more to go to
cinema for the time taken to solve.
challenge, medium difficulty.
and fun to play.