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Finders Keepers (1985)      

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Mastertronic Ltd
Arcade adventure
David Jones, Ed Hickman, Ray Owen

IA 0059
Audio cassette
Game Instructions

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Amstrad CPC
Commodore Plus/4
Commodore 64
Sinclair ZX Spectrum

An Amtix Accolade

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Your Reviews

Issue 1 (Nov 1985) (Amtix)   15th Jun 2016 04:26
Mastertronic, £1.99 cass
Author: David Aubery Jones

The King of Ibisima just doesn't know what sort of present to give his daughter Germintrude for her birthday. Instead of nipping down to the local Ibisima Woolies to scan the shelves for a suitable gift, he sends you, the Magic Knight, out on a quest to find a fitting gift. If you succeed you will become a Knight of the Polygon Table... if you don't then forget the thought of ever going back to the palace.
Finders Keepers first appeared on the Spectrum and was Mastertronic's first game (for that machine) of real quality. Its transfer to the C8M 64 was even more triumphant and proved the point that excellent budget software was here to stay. What of the Amstrad version?

You start the game with the King waving you to a transporter. Step on this, and you're magically transported to Spriteland, an alien-infested platform world packed with valuable items. The resident aliens sap your energy which is shown on screen in the form of a bar, if you're not careful and the en-ergy reaches zero then you lose one of your five lives.
There are many objects scattered around the landscape
which form an important part to this game. These all look the same, being little white triangles but if you stand on them and use the examine command then you are told what the object is. If you consider the object might play a useful part in the game you can pick it up, rather like a true adventure game.
You can Finders Keepers from two viewpoints. If you wish to comply with your King's wishes then you need to trade different objects until you have a prize fit for the Princess. If, however, you are willing to commit a bit of treason then you could always enter Spriteland as a free agent, working only for yourself. Once you've stacked up a reasonable horde you can leave the castle for a life of luxury.
Finders Keeper is an arcade adventure platform game featuring a wealth of screens. Though involving a lot of arcade elements, the adventure side of things is very similar to the traditional style of adventuring. To attain any status you have to trade objects at a profit. In some cases if you collect two objects
they may interact, combining to leave you with an even more useful item. A philosopher's stone and a lump of lead, for instance, leaves you with a much more valuable lump of gold. Also, as in traditional adventures, there's a limit to how big your inventory may grow, the maximum amount of objects you can carry being five.
Around the game you come across traders willing to barter their wares. Using tne traders it's possible to turn apparently useless objects into very useful ones by buying items that interact.
The screens mostly take a standard platform-type format involving pixel-precise jumps from ledge to ledge. If you do a bit of exploring it's likely you may find at least one of the two mazes in Spriteland. The mazes scroll around you keeping your knight central, a system reminiscent of that employed in Boulderdash.
The scoring system is in two parts displaying a percentage of how many rooms have been explored and the amount of cash you're worth. The screen display shows how many lives you are left.

Cursors for movement;
G to get;
T to trade;
G to D to drop;
E to examine.


Finders Keepers is a first hiq rate piece of budget software. The standard of programming plus the interes-ting gameplay make this one a winner. It puts a lot of software houses to shame especially those who try to peddle their substandard wares around the £10 mark. The graphics are of a high quality with a good standard of movement, though the way Magic Knight jumps could have been better. Screen move-ment is smooth and unflickery. Very good as well with the variety in terrain with the maze and platform screens intermingling. Overall one of the best pieces of budget software to date and gives a timely reminder for other software houses to pull their socks up!
Mastertronic certainly seem to be really getting their act together. Finders Keepers is yet another first rate game and one that's bound to become a very successful piece of software. I loved the way part of the program was presented as a true platform game and the other part as a sort of 3D{ishJ maze. There's plenty of things to do and some of the puzzles are excellently thought out. Nice one Mastertronic!
Its appearance on the Spectrum was something of a revelation, as at that no one thought budget
software could produce anything reasonable. But Mastertronic have improved the game even further with the Amstrad version. The arcade elements are well up to standard, requiring some skill and good timing. The adventuring and trading bits blend in perfectly, and it can take some time to work out how best to go about playing the game. Playable then, attractive to watch and strangely addictive.

Presentation 88%
Nice loading screen and attractive packaging with reasonable options.

Graphics 86%
Extremely good use of Mode 0 showing imaginative use of colour.

Sound 88%
Pretty impressive and constant effects throughout the game.

Playability 85%
Immediately playable as a normal platform game - and then there's more.

Addictive Qualities 88%
Compelling adventure aspects should make for an interesting game.

Value for Money 97%
Absolutely outstanding, programs this good so inexpensive.

Overall 91%
A great game that should hold interest tor a substantial amount of time. The price makes it irresistable.

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This title was first added on 11th May 2012
This title was most recently updated on 15th June 2016

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