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Sealed City, The - Review

Review by Sudders


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I stumbled across this game on World of Spectrum and didn't have high expectations. I was happy to be proved wrong. It's part of the 'double adventure' series that I had never heard of before. I will be trying out the next one at some point (although on the first tape the other adventure is a kind of scramble game!)
In this adventure you must enter an ancient and cursed sealed city. The city was sealed because of a burgeoning evil within and 'wise fool' wanted to put an end to the corruption that was becoming out of control.
That evil is rising again, and you must take up where the 'wise fool' left off.
It's a nice storyline and the white on black text adventure really adds to the back story with a lovely detailed and atmospheric written style (and the occasionally annoying beeps!). I played this on a long plane journey and the hours flew by until my son woke up!
Wandering through the city is a pleasure as you discover the details of the city and its former inhabitants. It's lovely to map out, although descriptions are often based around nearby locations rather than the one you are in.
You get attacked by random creatures, but they are easily dispatched or you can run away. Bear in mind that if you run away you lose points and they follow you (which means you can't complete some tasks).

The only gripe I had with this game was that there are a couple of points where you can be stuck and have no idea why. I got to very near the end and then had a several week hiatus whilst I pondered the final bit. I finally realised that I wasn't carrying the poppies!!!
Anyhow, look at the hints if you need them, some of the riddles are harder than others and you can't win without them.
It's a lovely little game, if slightly flawed, but I really enjoyed playing it.

Parser/Vocabulary (Rating: 6/10)

Simple in a word. Two word entry and you sometimes need to link the next sentence e.g. hold nettles, in bowl (in fact that one goes on to have a third link!). It works on but the constant 'I can't's can be irritating.

Atmosphere (Rating: 10/10)

Outstanding! I love the atmosphere! Yes there is the odd spelling and grammar mistake, but the descriptions are fascinating and the random comments add to the suspense.

Cruelty (Rating: Cruel)

There is an unavoidable and prolonged death (once chosen) at the beginning and all seemed pretty smooth but taking the key items turned up some real stinkers where I had no idea what I was doing wrong and couldn't progress for weeks.

Puzzles (Rating: 7/10)

Very nice puzzles that allow any number of approaches to finishing and are mainly logical. Some of the riddles are a bit tricky and as stated earlier certain things can prevent you finishing.

Overall (Rating: 8/10)

Nicely constructed and atmospheric game. Good fun but with a couple of frustrating points. I would definitely play it again and will look out for other games from this author.