By Jonathan Cauldwell, for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K upwards, on cassette.
Many have heard of magic, a form of trickery whereby a practitioner appeareth to effect an occurrence impossible in nature, most usual through sleight of hand or other illusion. While it serveth to amuse, no use doth come of this underhandery, save for those jesters and troubadours who find means to extort income from such prestidigitations.
Alas, few are aware that there be a discipline of relation, the ancient and long forgotten art of cobblers. Practiced by an order exclusive of wizards in the ages dark, cobblers may be put to uses many, and relieth not on illusions optic to achieve its ends. He who practiceth this cobblers, known is he as a tripe wizard. Five and twenty tripe wizards at any one time may there be, appointed by the great Tripe Sorceror his self. Underwizards selected to take the great ordeal by tripe, may honoured indeed be considered.
Cobblers worketh by the truth that in any thing existeth there a name, and this name be known as a tripe pointer. Through incantation or utterance of this pointer, a learned wizard might cause the item to change form or course, and perchance even to disappear complete.
Good day, noble and wise tripe underwizard. Through the mists of time and space, and the rubber keyed portal of Cam Bridge, the Grand Sorceror Aethelheard of Hundleby hath seen at first hand thy abilities through the manipulation of sprites on the portal of keys rubber, and he hath seen fit to bestow upon thee an opportunity to join the Grand Order of Tripe Wizards. Thou hast many trials and ordeals before thee, and the tasks set by the Sorceror shall test thy abilities to the point where they do break. Canst thou emerge glorious from thy examination?
Succeed in thy quest and Aethelheard shall grant thee many oxen strong and of good health. Also, eight and one score caricates of land to the east of Tilchestune, worth nine shillings a year. They who fail shall be cast into the brown pit of despair by Tramiel, the Arch-Demon. Thou wilt suffer the bitter agonies of his four and sixty curses. To an underwizard of the rubber keyed portal of Cam Bridge, this be a fate much worse than death. Oh Lordy!
Confused? You should be. It's the world's first type-em-up. Think Gamex's oodles of minigames, crammed into one load, but with faster fingers... Static screenshots do not do this bizarre and compulsive game justice....EVERY GAME GOING:
And is it any good? Yes, it's superb. Doubly so too, if you're a gamer with a limited concentration span. Don't like the current "task"? Don't stress, in twenty seconds it'll be replaced by something different. Tasks aren't always easy either - the word "Fail" will reduce one of your lives before proceeding if you're not up to them.
I've lost count of the number of new Spectrum games I've seen by Jonathan Cauldwell and the man clearly has the imagination of a superhero to keep churning these original ideas out at such rate and quality.