48k disk/ cass.
Asylum is set in the place that most Adventurers
eventually end up! Your task is simply to escape. The Asylum is
basically one massive maze of corridors with numerous doors which you
must try to unlock using different items. Many of the doors reveal
empty rooms but others have objects in them or are occupied by the
inmates or keepers of the Asylum. Collecting various objects you go
about the adventure in the normal way.
The game allows multiple sentences to be used such
as OPEN THE DOOR THEN GET BOX or UNLOCK THE DOOR WITH KEY. OPEN IT.
ENTER DOOR. Generally using multiple commands will save you a lot of
time especially when going in and out of rooms. The instruction manual
gives very little help regarding the game other than to explain the
use of the vocabulary. If you wish you can press the OPTION button to
view all of the words recognised by the program and as some of these
are pretty obscure you may be forced into using this facility. There
are four full screens of recognised words, each three columns across.
The maze is fully animated and is very reminiscent
of WAY OUT. Your progress through the maze is controlled by using the
four arrow keys which control all movement. As you turn to left or
right or face about the maze scrolls across the screen giving a very
impressive sense of direction. In the corridors the graphics are just
grey walls with occasional objects in boxes on the floor but high
resolution pictures are revealed whenever you enter a room. Text
occupies a few lines at the bottom of the screen although the graphics
can be switched out for more text If you want a sneak preview of the
graphics there is a `slide show' which gives you a preview of some of
the rooms you will find in your travels. Although this may seem to
some too much like cheating it does give you a good incentive to go on
and there are many more rooms.
Initially I was not particularly interested in
Asylum as most animated graphics adventures tend to offer graphics at
the expense of the plot but I quickly became hooked. It represents one
of the the very best forms of graphics adventure and contains plenty
of puzzles to solve in the classic style. The slide show is an
excellent feature giving a few hints about what you need to find to
leave the Asylum and overall it uses the Atari's capabilities to
excellent effect with good scrolling action in the corridors and high-res
pictures in the rooms. Add to that text adventure style puzzles and
the Asylum is a place you may well wish to visit!