Frankenstein, Amstrad CPC

The Amstrad CPC version of Rod Pike‘s text adventure, Frankenstein, just about falls into the middle of the Commodore 64 and Spectrum versions.

The Amstrad version definitely has the best loading screens, and it also has coloured text to differentiate passages (like the C64 version does), although – to be honest – it doesn’t go far enough with this trick to make it as effective as it could be. When you’re having to read large passages of text – like in this game – it helps to have sections visually divided into different types. This game unfortunately only uses white text for important characters who’re speaking, and blue text for everything else, but the game’s designers should have gone further with it because it’s useful and helps the reader, and the game should be making reading all this text enjoyable.

I can imagine that playing a text adventure on an Amstrad CPC keyboard would feel pretty regal, as typing on it would’ve felt so much better than doing the same thing on a Spectrum or ZX81. Or on many other 8-bit home computers. If your host computer has a real moving keyboard then it’s much more fun typing commands into a text parser through that.

Frankenstein is a game that is interesting from a literary point of view; complex from a solutions point of view, and relatively short from a length point of view. It’s a concentrated series of short episodes and finding out the typed commands to complete them is difficult if you don’t know what they are. And if you do know what these commands are then the game is very easy…

More: Frankenstein on Wikipedia

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