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Almazz (1985)            

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Related Titles:
The Edge
Action Adventure
Andrew Green
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Audio cassette
UK (£9.95)
Quo Vadis

Commodore 64

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Issue 2, May 1985 (Zzap! 64)   17th Mar 2013 12:20
Quo Vadis heralded the arrival of the BIG game. This one is even bigger, featuring a multi-directional scrolling landscape of 1700 screens. But is big still beautiful?

The action is set on an African Savannah and your task is to locate the Almazz diamond in the wilderness before the 40-day time limit runs out. The landscape is a green pattern criss-crossed by rivers and lakes. You can only cross these where there are bridges. The sound is a repetitive tune which can be turned off, since there are no important sound effects.

The terrain is in 3D, although you only recognise this from the features on it because you can't see the horizon. The features are trees, bushes, rocks, logs, tall stones, and huts, all of which throw shadows.

You can move around the landscape at two speeds, either an automatic walking pace, or running. The faster speed, however, causes you to heat up under the beating sun and you need frequent drinks of water from a flask. At walking pace you cool down gradually, but there are two hazards that may hurry you along.

LIONS and NATIVES carrying spears appear in great numbers to harass you. The natives only travel at walking speed, but throw spears that can kill you. The lions can go at running speed once they have sensed your presence, and can maul you if they catch you. You have a gun to defend yourself, but it only carries six bullets at a time.

To replace your bullets you have to find a hut with an open door -- once inside, game time will pass very quickly and you will gain a bullet every hour. Inside the huts you are immune, but the rapid loss of time forces you back into the open. The other useful features are the springs at which you can replenish your water bottle.

In your search you may find some interesting objects lying around, and, not to give too much away, some of these are pieces of a sacred tablet which go into a grid at the bottom right of the display. Other objects you'll have to find and use by yourself. There are also riddles to be found, and these are said to play a more central role than those in Quo Vadis.

Your temperature can rise fatally for lack of water, or because of your injuries, but in either case you are back to the start with everything to collect again. For that reason it's advisable to map everything out so you know where you are going. Once you've found the diamond, you'll have to solve a final puzzle and then you can claim the real Almazz diamond from The Edge.


Although similar to Quo Vadis in size, Almazz isn't so similar in play. There's a lot more strategy involved than before, but there's also a lot more wandering around to be done, with less action in the meantime. Still, at least the riddles should be a bit easier to solve..

Tips on exploring

Try to walk around most of the time, and only run when closely pursued -- this should stop you getting overheated. When being chased try to block lions and natives with obstacles and if this fails, shoot them. When you've run out of bullets, only then use your precious water supply and run.

Keeping very close to rivers and lake edges will keep you safe, particularly where it is very jagged. You can also lose a posse of pursuers by nipping across a bridge.

The other important point to remember is to map everything so that you can retrace your steps on successive turns (and send us a finished map of course!).

63% Satisfactory. Nothing amazing.

67% A new scenario and some novel game-play touches.

61% A mixture. Some pleasing landscape features. Simple animation.

64% You may find the action slow, but the desire to explore is strong.

38% Very forgettable tune that soon gets switched off.

79% The vast playing area offers weeks of challenge.

70% Plenty to do, plenty of challenge. But in terms of atmosphere and addictive appeal, perhaps not as good as its excellent predecessor Quo Vadis.

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This title was first added on 8th October 2011
This title was most recently updated on 17th March 2013

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