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Mines of Saturn - Review

Review by Sudders


Last edited:

I can't resist playing very old 16K adventures. I wrote one on the 380Z myself as my first programming effort and never progressed further, so I love seeing how the early games are put together.
This effort, written in basic, is not a great example. You are forced to land on a satellite of Saturn and find fuel for your ship in an abandoned mining base.
Entry is into speech marks (which I never like as they can be deleted) and you have to type in full. This is a bit of a pain as typing 'N' instead of 'North' results in "PARDON". I got a lot of this!
There are only 18 locations, so this isn't going to take long if you have played a bit, you search the base, get your equipment together and then it's a very short trip to the mine.
I completed this in a couple of hours, there was one annoying problem that took me a while to sort out (outside of the fact you need to read Juan Duc's solution to fix the listing first) and that is the location of the ladder. You'd think it's in the place where it says there is a ladder, but it's not.
All in all a game not worth going out of your way for. I gained some satisfaction from completing the puzzles, but they aren't taxing.

Parser/Vocabulary (Rating: 3/10)

Very poor. No shortcuts. Speech marks. Very limited and reliant on 'use'.
Lots of 'YOU CAN'T'

Atmosphere (Rating: 3/10)

Sparse descriptions. A slightly interesting bit about the canal.

Cruelty (Rating: Polite)

I would say merciful, but when you get to a point where you are missing a necessary item the game ends with 9 STOP Statement, 9999.5. Irritating.
Apart from this there are only a couple of sticky ends.

Puzzles (Rating: 4/10)

Simple and mildly satisfying.

Overall (Rating: 3/10)

Clearly a flawed piece of work, but I did enjoy finishing it (well, apart from the irritating ending which takes it down to 3!)