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There are many locations to be explored at the outset giving the opening sequence at Kalem Wood a slight 'maze' feel with most locations having similar descriptions. You will soon find a man dying of thirst, a well with a warped bucket useless for holding water and the mine shaft entrance which you may not enter without a light source.
Similar to other Jack Lockerby adventures, with what at first may appear to be a fairly simple problem, the author ensures that diligence is required to find all of its elements such that the problem may be solved. Soon enough you should find yourself wandering around the Mines of Lithiad where mapping is essential to be able to find your way about. As you go deeper into the mines, the problems become slightly trickier and require slightly more actions to complete.
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(Spectrum version reviewed - legally available from http://www.zenobi.co.uk/ )
Jack Lockerby was one of the most prolific homegrown authors on the ZX Spectrum and c64. Luckily the ZX Spectrum versions have been made available by John Wilson, who owned Zenobi Software and the right to distribute these games.
The Mines of Lithiad is definitely one of the better ones. As it is made with PAW, it is often possible to use 4 words, similar to e.g. PUT BALL IN BOX or GET PEN FROM BASKET. However, whenever two words are sufficient to describe the action, you should stick to two words.
The plot: Cavilan, the last surviving dragon, has chosen you to rescue her egg from the clutches of the Master and his band of Orcs.
Once you are past the introduction location, the game starts out with a large area with mostly empty locations. Though several of these have the same location description, it is not at all a maze, as the map is very logically laid out. I guess the main purpose of this map layout is to make it a bit challenging to solve a specific puzzle within a time limit. Here, I should add, that there are a few real time elements. These real time elements are very rarely a problem, especially as you can save as often as you like quite quickly with a free ZX Spectrum emulator like Fuse. So even if you don't like real time elements in IF, I recommend that you try this one.
And if you dislike inventory limits, you should know, that you can find a solution to that quite early in the game, so that isn't a problem either.
Once you are past the big opening area, the map becomes more standard with lots of fun puzzles, some original as well as a few classic puzzles.
I never had serious guess-the-verb problems but I needed a hint for two puzzles. They weren't unfair, so with more patience, you might be able to solve it without hints.
Very entertaining, certainly one I can recommend.
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