Title Cedric Game Type Adventure Publisher Alive Mediasoft Players 1 Compatibility AGA/OCS? HD Installable No (runs from CD) Submission Eric Haines (firstname.lastname@example.org) Review Despite the "2000" date on the CD for "Cedric and the Search for the Magic Sceptre", a look at the files suggests it originated some years earlier. A look at the game itself suggests the same thing--despite the "AGA" label, this seems like it would run on any Amiga, though I have no way to test that. Further clues in the game make me suspect that this is an old German game perhaps recently translated into English (though you still have the choice to play in German). In any case, I'm glad it made it. My first impressions weren't too favorable, though. There isn't much in the way of presentation. Just a jewel case CD with the cover (and CD label) obviously printed using a color inkjet. No manual, no read-me file, no documentation of any sort. The introduction wasn't terribly inspiring, either. Just some music and a few screens of text, not very well written but slightly amusing. But then, there was also no fuss, no installation, no configuring, no glitches of any sort. Click'n'go, really. It's not hard to figure out, either...just the joystick, and a simple action menu that's accessed by either a second button or the space bar. It runs fine on my 060, and like most older Amiga games it doesn't use a graphics card or multitask, but it does quit cleanly back to Workbench. Alive thoughtfully included DMS files for the original disks, just in case you want to torture yourself by playing from 6 floppies. At first glance this looks like a "Shadow of the Beast"-esque platform game, and it is (with a bit of Mario Bros. thrown in, since you can jump on some enemies to kill them). But there is that action menu I mentioned, which consists of examining objects, picking them up, using them, or talking to them (in case the object is a sentient being of some sort). So while you spend time running around the landscape, jumping and punching various creatures, the emphasis seems to be on traditional adventure game tropes of talking to people, getting clues, picking up objects, and using them in the right place. None of this is terribly brain-taxing, but the levels are generally quite large and there are 11 of them, so this works out well: the frustration factor is low, but the game will keep you busy for a long time. The jump-n-punch part is similarly balanced: Difficult enough to keep you on your toes, but not so hard that you die too often. Monsters, once killed, *stay* dead, so there's no constant (and tedious) combat as you run around. You get a decent supply of lives to begin with, and health-restorers and extra lives are reasonably plentiful. You'll probably lose most of your lives by missing jumps, but thankfully "leaps of faith" are nearly non-existent. The graphics throughout are nicely done, though as mentioned, they don't look AGA to me. The palette is attractive but limited and the copper lists aren't the smooth gradients typically found in AGA games. Actually I was reminded a bit of Wrath of the Demon. The music is quite good, but here's the one real drawback of the game: there is only music, no sound effects. It may be one of those games where you can either get sound effects or music but not both; however I pressed all the keys and the only ones that did anything were the space bar (for the menu) and Esc (to quit). Another small problem is that not all the text has been translated to English, but fortunately nothing important was left in German. Overall, this is a surprisingly enjoyable game, and it doesn't take itself very seriously. (Cedric is rather sarcastic...when asked to examine a barkeeper, for example, he says, "He looks like a typical barkeep from a graphic adventure." And one of the options upon greeting said barkeep is to say, "I am Guybrush Threepwood, the mighty pirate!"--that's a Monkey Island reference for those who don't know.) It's quite player-friendly, and with its mid-range price, it's certainly worthwhile. With Alive out of the software business, I would recommend that anyone interested in adventure and/or platform games get this as soon as possible because there probably isn't a large supply.