Here’s a wee experiment for you all to try. Go to this link here and download Mike Singleton’s much-acclaimed 1987 strategy game for the ZX Spectrum Dark Sceptre; and whilst you’re there download the instructions file.
Done that? Good. Now, put aside a couple of hours if you can and read the instructions (because, by golly, you’ll need to do that) and then have a shot at the game using your Spectrum emulator of choice. Don’t just dick around for ten minutes, put at least half an hour to an hour aside to play the game and really try and find that goshdarned sceptre.
Done that? Congratulations. Now, were you able to, for want of a better way of putting it, get any sort of feel for the game and what exactly is going on?
I ask because this game really seems to divide people. Take a look at that World of Spectrum entry I linked to earlier again. It’s got a really good user score meaning that lot’s and lot’s of Spec-chums like Dark Sceptre and yet try and I might I, and quite a few other people, find it a bit of a confusing game to play. I know about all the characters I have control of, I know all the things they can do that sound terribly involved and exciting and yet when I play the game all I seem to do is issue a few orders and then my men wander around the game map (which doesn’t seem to have terribly recognisable areas making things even more confusing) either looking for people, killing people or getting themselves killed. There seem to be dozens of items in the game and yet I can never seem to find them and I’m not sure what they do. I keep wanting to go back to it and yet I know I’ll just get confused all over again and sit in front of the monitor with virtual question marks floating above my head.
Seriously, folks, if any of you can find the time to try this game then tell me in the comments and let me know if you got the feel for the game that so many critics at the time seem to have. And, if you can, maybe tell me where I’m going wrong…