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Jinxter (Classic Game)

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      31.08.2001 20:50
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      Jinxter is one of the best text adventure games which I played on the Amiga and I used to play a lot of them. Talk to any 20+ year old and they will remember fondly the days of the text adventures, something which kids these days are sadly missing out on with all the flashy graphics, sound effects and ultimately short lived playability of many of the modern games. Text adventures had no graphics, no sound and were as the name suggests just plain text description of events and places and the player had to type in what they wanted to do. You would be told that you are in a field and that there is a bull here for example and you would have to type in what you wanted to do...like "kick bull" which would result in a humourous response or an untimely death that kind of thing. And NO it wasn't DULL but actually highly addictive and also pretty educational, because I think that as a kid this is where a lot of my reading came from lol. Anyway...the game. Jinxter benefits from being one of those games in the adventure genre which incorporates a lot of humour into its gameplay. Far too many took themselves completely seriously and whilst having fiendishly difficult puzzles, were never quite as much fun as those which didn't. The humour in Jinxter is rather off the wall, and I for one think its a rather excellent game because of it. A lot of work has goone into making this game fun, which you can see from the moment you open up the box. You get a disk, a registration document, a copy of the Independant Guardian(explanation coming) and a beer mat(?). No instruction manual? Well thats because the Independant Guardian IS the instruction manual despite looking like a local newspaper. Reading through it you find lots of stories related to the weird and wonderful village life of the guardian angels who represent this paper's target group (very funny trust me) and a section on computers - your instructions. I love how this is done and it really sets the
      game off to a great start even before it is loaded up. Then it gets better. You begin the game standing in the middle of the road with a bus bearing down on you. the game will not let you move, as you fumble around dropping stuff and panic sets in but just in time you are whisked away by your guardian angel who likes herringbone overcoarts(guardian angel thing) and cheese...lots of cheese. He explains the plot to you. This is Aquitania, kind of like Britain in the 20s or 30s, but not. The world used to have good luck and this luck was fashioned into a bracelet for safekeeping. However the witches stole the bracelet and broke it into 5 pieces which they scattered across the country and which you must find as your luck and that of those around you gets progressively worse, before finally confronting Ms. Jannedor Nasty - head witch. Sounds easy, but the puzzles in this game are fiendishly difficult and wonderfully twisted - the bizarre humour runs through these as well so expect to find puzzles which make perfect sense AFTER they have been solved but which will really screw you up until then. Great attention has gone here into the descriptions of the rooms and places. They are not only wonderfully detailed, but the bizarre humour and semi-mystical feel is carried on here as well. You will meet a number of characters in your journey, weird and wonderful again and always good fun. One place where many adventures games fell down was will the parser - that part of the game where the user types in what they want to do and the computer responds in a relevant manner. Often you had to type in EXACTLY what the programmer was expecting or you would get back a message saying that it did not understand you. Hence to open a door you could be typing "push door", "open door", "unlock door", "turn handle" and getting errors because it is a sliding door and Mr. Shortsighted Programmer has decided that everyone should realise this and t
      ype "slide door"...this used to annoy the hell out of me, especially when you knew the solution to a puzzle and got thrown off the scent because you typed "twist handle" instead of "turn handle" for example and got a "can't do that" message. Fortunately Jinxter has a rather good parser and does understand many different word combinations and accepts a variety of different actions to perform the same thing. Hence toss, throw, lob, hurl and chuck, can all be used to throw something for example, no shortsighted/lazy programming here. I did say there were no graphics with text adventures and that is not strictly true. These aren't like te point and click style interface seen today but rather in some of them you did get drawn scenery to go with them...and option you could turn off because it took longer to load each new page up when you changed locations. The pictures in Jinxter are very pretty and well drawn and a touch above most other games of this type. They help the game come alive in some respects, but the main idea behind these games is that the mind can paint better pictures than any graphics could so personally I always turned them off. Still they are there if you want them.You also got a jaunty soundtrack whilst loading but the game itself is silent. Overall, its a great game and enormous fun to play. There is another gripe in that if you play it on anything other than an A500 you will have problem with compatability because it was designed for Kickstart 1.x. Saving is the biggest problem which does make things rather difficult as playing the game all the way through in one sitting is going to be a real test of anyone's mettle, but its still worth checking out if you can find a download somewhere. :o)

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