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Pawn, The

Magnetic Scrolls info, Rainbird info 1985

Anita Sinclair info, Geoff Quilley, Hugh Steers, Ken Gordon
Amiga, Amstrad CPC info, Amstrad PCW info, Android, Apple II, Archimedes info, Atari 400/800, Atari ST, C64/128 info, iOS, Macintosh, PC info, Sinclair QL info, Spectrum, Spectrum Next info
Fantasy, misc., Surreal
Entered by:
dave, Eriorg, Gunness, Starscream, stefanm, Strident



The Pawn is an adventure game set in the magical world of Kerovnia during a period of tremendous social upheaval. Recently, King Erik, the present ruler of the land, has started to lose his hold on the Kerovnian peoples and can no longer rely on their loyalty and supreme devotion to support him through times of war, famine and personal bankruptcy.

Many political commentators have attributed this decline in popularity to Erik's steadfast refusal to reinstate the citizenship of the Roobikyoub dwarfs who were banished en masse soon after the assassination of the beloved Queen Jendah II and have never since returned.

The dwarfs were thought to be the sole instigators of the assassination plot but the real facts were kept well behind closed (and locked) doors.

Needless to say the dwarfs were of immense economic importance to Kerovnia with their relentless efforts to produce the smoothest, strongest malt whisky this side of the Obakanga valley and they are sorely missed in these days of economic gloom (not least for the quality of their whisky).

In the absence of the dwarfs, the drinks market has been dominated by the Farthington Real Ale Company (which has had some rather dodgy dealings with Boris Grunchkev O.K.B.) and by the Romni gnomes who produce a refreshing spring water. Neither of these two influential groups wish to see the dwarfs come back on the scene to take a large slice of the market but the people of Kerovnia, many of whom are beginning to suspect that the dwarfs were completely innocent of the assassination, vehemently disagree.

Standing in the middle of all this is King Erik who becomes more and more unpopular the longer he leaves his decision, and, to top it all, there is a general election on the horizon.

At this point, you arrive on the scene. You will be the principle player in the game and the story unfolds according to your decisions and actions.

The program will describe where you are, who (or what) is there with you and what they are doing. It is then up to you to choose what you wish to do and tell the program in plain English (well almost!).

You'll have to discover the goal of the game and the best way to achieve it by utilizing the items you find on your travels, conversing with characters and exercising your imagination.


The original game was coded for the QL and was text-only. Once Rainbird got interested in it, they insisted on including graphics.

An official remastered version of the game was released in 2017 by StrandGames for PC/macOS/Linux and Android/iOS.

In 2020 an officially authorised version of the remastered edition of the game was released for the Spectrum Next; see here.

[+] Users currently playing this game


the_Pawn.png Pawn.gif Pawn.gif Pawn_QL.gif


Average User Rating: 7.3 (10 ratings)

Your Rating: —

User Comments

Mark (05-06-2010 10:28)

Fantastic graphics for the time - making the game a little slow, though, as long as you had them switched on. Good story, very good descriptions and a strong parser.

Gunness (07-02-2012 14:30)

I guess that part of the game's legacy can be attributed to the fact that it was the first to sport an Infocom'ish parser, a huge vocabulary AND ohhhh.... pictures!
But honestly, compared to their later efforts (particularly Jinxter and Corruption), The Pawn seems fairly disjointed, with too much weirdness for weirdness sake, and some really odd puzzles.

And don't get me started on that ending...