Jim Blimey

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Type in: Chambers

06/08/2019

Ahh type-ins.. A type of game lost to time. Most of them weren't all that good (as someone who wrote several crap games in BASIC I'm allowed to say that!), but they were invaluable for learning how to code - almost like an 80s version of Stack Overflow, only without the questions and the snobbery.

Chambers is a type-in that appeared in Your Computer magazine back in 1984, and has managed to catch and hold my attention.

The premise is simple: You've been locked in the cellar of a spiteful sorcerer's tower full of mysterious rooms and chambers and to test your intelligence you have been tasked with finding your way out through an exit on the 5th floor. You also have to collect stuff on your way and watch out for hazards that can remove an item or items you are carrying; some of the items can crumble in your hands when you pick them up. It's also possible to fall through a trapdoor down to the previous level which can be incredibly annoying when you find yourself going in a constant loop!

There are vampire bats around which can kill you (and to kill them you require one of the items available in the maze).

There is a map that you can access, however you can only view it a limited number of times so you need to make sure you use it wisely.

Keeping in mind that this is a type-in the graphics are... Acceptable. Your character is not animated and is in the constant state of a Bruce Forsyth impression - perhaps one of that spiteful sorcerer's spells! Each room has between 1 and 4 exits and could contain something to pick up or something nasty. There's no way of avoiding the nasty things as when you enter a room you don't stop moving until you are in the centre. The rooms have different colours and are mostly decent looking - some of them are a bit of a strain on the old eyes though! Sound is limited, and just beeps but again you can't expect that much.

Score

I'm not going to give a score breakdown on this game because that would be unfair, but I do give it a pretty tasty 7/10 as it's actually pretty addictive.

Download Chambers from World of Spectrum, or if you're feeling brave you can type it in yourself from archive.org.

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