Durell haven't gone into sunglasses - the game title
refers to the phenomenon of people vanishing from one
location and then reappearing elsewhere.
animated graphic adventures are very popular with most
people at the moment, including me. Reading through
the instructions as the program loaded, Shades
sounded interesting. 'You must rid Arulan of the evil
that is at work…fighting through the land…struggling
against the traps and monsters…' Yeah, great!
entering one of three skill levels, you are given a
map of Arulan to study on screen while the rest of the
program loads. And a very nice map it is too.
loaded though, you notice that the game's graphics aren't
quite up to the quality of the map. The backgrounds
and sprites are crude, as is the animation, (your character
tends to slide his way along.) The sound is even less
the program allows you to explore various locations
(64 in all) using joystick control, and then carry out
various actions selected from a menu. As you wander
through Arulan you will find objects to be taken, dropped
and used (there are over 30) and an inventory is affected
white thing isn't a dolphin, or a Chinese kite -- it's
a ghost. Look out.
and magical creatures also lurk in the land, making
your task that much more difficult. These can be attacked
and killed, thus increasing your experience (as does
collecting certain objects).
fighting such evil beings takes its toll in the form
of a depleting 'physical state' bar at the bottom of
the screen. If this bar goes too low, it won't replenish
and you soon die.
At times you are affected by SHADES which cause you
to return to an earlier location. This can prove very
annoying when it occurs frequently, especially if you
get quite far. Traps and secret doors are to be found,
but only if you press the correct keys. Several 'searches'
are sometimes required, as these are not always found
also a crossbow and bolts lying around, and if you are
lucky enough to find them, they can be activated via
the fire button. If you lose one of your three lives,
any objects you were carrying are scattered amongst
the land in true Valhalla style.
this game requires perseverance and will tax even the
hardiest arcade-adventurer. Mapping is possible, even
though the game is slightly different every time you
play. But combining joystick with keys is awkward, especially
since movement is through joystick only and fighting
is with the keyboard. Flitting between the two whilst
all action is taking place in real time, is difficult
and incredibly quick thinking and reactions are required.