by Clive Thompson, John Carlyle
Zeppelin Games Ltd
Your Sinclair Issue 81, Sep 1992   page(s) 12,13

£3.99 cassette
091 385 7755
Reviewer: Jon Pillar

(Scene: An old dark house in Cornwall, very probably the haunt of smugglers. A door creaks open. Enter Julian, Anne, Dick, George and Timmy, the Famous Five, exploring beyond the confines of the Magnificent Seven tape pages. Enter several gaunt copyright lawyers. Exeunt the Famous Five. Enter Julio, Flan, Dink, Gorge and Tummy, the Fumous Five. Dink wears a sensible pullover, shorts and clumpy shoes. Julio wears a dazzling white suit, a white shirt open to the navel, a gold medallion and mirror shades. Gorge has a fierce expression and an unconvincing false moustache. Flan simpers a lot, and Tummy's just this dog, y'know? They look around)

DINK: Gosh everyone, it looks like an old dark house in Cornwall, very probably the haunt of smugglers. We'd better tread carefully. (He treads carefully on Tummy's tail. Tummy playfully bites his leg)

FLAN: Shhhh! I think there's somebody upstairs.

JULIO: Hey baby, let's blow this scene. I know this great Italian restaurant.

GORGE: Stop kissing me or I'll kill you.

JULIO: I wasn't kissing you. I was licking my lips but missed. (Gorge hits him extremely hard. Suddenly an old man walks down the stairs)

DINK: Great Scott! It's a smuggler!

GORGE: No, it's Flan's Uncle Silas in a nightshirt. And he's sleepwalking. Somebody move that hatstand out of his way! He might do himself a nasty injury.

FLAN (glancing up from her Webster's Pocket Guide to Sleep Disorders with an expression of concern): Gorge is quite right. According to Webby, sleepwalkers can do themselves a great deal of harm if they're woken unexpectedly. What with Uncle Silas's peculiar inner-ear problems that frequently cause him to lose his balance and knock into things, it looks as if the only chance he's got is for us to run around and smash up his house so there's nothing for him to break. Come on chaps!

DINK: I'll bet smugglers are to blame for Uncle Silas's peculiar inner-ear problems that frequently cause him to lose his balance and knock into things. (Exit and exeunt)

(Scene Two: Another part of the house. Uncle Silas is wandering about, fast asleep. The Fumous Five are demolishing his home)

DINK: That's knocked that vase over. Look out Gorge, he's heading for that priceless ornamental statue. Oh well done, you've broken it over Julio's head.

(A sleepy cat wanders into Uncle Silas's path. Quick as a flash, Tummy hurls it through the window)

FLAN: Clever old Tummy. What would we do without you? (She hacks through a frayed cord with her penknife. A priceless eighteenth century cut-glass chandelier smashes into a million bits on the floor) There. Nice house, isn't it? Oh look out, Uncle Silas is getting away.

GORGE: Quick everybody - through this secret passage that I've this minute discovered by casually leaning up against the oak panelling lining the walls. I'll just bet it leads straight back to Uncle Silas's bedroom.

(Tummy barks urgently, but reservedly, showing the proper concern for neighbours who might be sleeping to prepare for a day's honest toil on the morrow)

DINK: Oh corks - he's coming back this way! (Everybody stands dead still and holds their breath. Uncle Silas brushes into them and turns around) Phew, that was close. Watch your step, chaps. Oh dash it all - I seem to have fallen over some barrels labelled 'smuggled merchandise.'

JULIO: There's no time for that, guy, Uncle Old Dude is making a break for it. Shake the dust from your boots.

DINK: They're very sensible shoes actually.

(Scene Three: Uncle Silas's bedroom. The old fellow is still wandering about aimlessly. Sensing the end is in sight, the Five are throwing themselves into their task with renewed vigour. Nary an ornament lies unbroken)

GORGE: I say you fellows - this is awfully tedious, isn't it?

FLAN (jumping with gusto upon a Spode dinner service): I wouldn't say that. Although the lack of variety is a bit galling. There are a jolly lot of interesting chests lying around. What a shame we can't do anything with them. Come to think of it, we can't do anything with anything, except break it. What a shame.

JULIO: I've got to admit that the novelty is, like, kind of wearing off. Running around, hitting things, subtly influencing Uncle Old Dude's movements but mostly hoping that he will head back to bed is not, y'know, the most tremendous thing I can think of doing. (He turns suggestively to Gorge) I'd much prefer being tremendous with you, baby. (Gorge hits him with a bedside table)

DINK: it is good fun for a while though. (Suddenly Uncle Silas climbs into bed) And it's jolly rewarding when you succeed at helping the old gentleman return to Slumberland.

FLAN: (consulting her Webster's): Apparently sleepwalking is a recurring condition I wouldn't be at all surprised if he did it again tomorrow night. Gosh!

GORGE: Gosh!

DINK: Crikey!

JULIO: Heavy.

TUMMY: Woof.

(Exeunt, pausing only to conscientiously clean up the mess, tuck Uncle Silas in properly, foil a gang of smugglers and leave the door on the latch so that the postman won't have to disturb the old fellow when he delivers his Reader's Digest. Curtain)

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Overall: 75%

Summary: Uppers: It's an original game. The graphics are smart, and the sheer size of the task at hand keeps you on your toes. Downers: There's no variety to the gameplay. You run around, trash the house, nudge Uncle Silas in the right direction and hope. Then do it all over again. It's incredibly good fun for a while, but the game's really a missed opportunity. There's just not enough to do.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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