Added: 7 Mar 2011
This game caused a huge hullaballoo when it was launched because of the £25,000 prize that it offered to the first person to finish it. The story goes that a talisman found on the Moon has shattered and the parts scattered through time. As you've probably guessed, your job is to travel through the time zones and gather the fragments. This involves meeting your prehistoric ancestors, rapping with the boys at Camelot and exploring ancient Rome. At the start of each zone there is an arcade sequence to complete - a factor which caused many an adventure critic to go purple with horror - but these segments do at least affect the attributes of your character, so they have some relevance. A tired old concept, but the promise of that hefty cash prize kept people playing it for months.
Added: 3 Jan 2010
Action through the ages
EUREKA, Ian Livingstone's package, from Domark, contains something for everyone. Each of the five sections is prefaced with an arcade game which builds up the character's strength, or vigour, but tires the playing fingers.
In the prehistoric maze you are represented by a little figure, the size of a character square and difficult to distinguish from its background. You must guide it around the maze, picking up roast chicken legs while avoiding flashing squares which rush at you and jumping on those which try to run away.
All those antics have a strange sort of logic to them. If you want to keep your sanity, however, it is best to pick up the nearest leg and make a dash for the exit. If you are not quick enough on the fire button, for this game surely requires a joystick, more chicken legs are scattered around the maze.
Once through the finger punishment phase one of the adventures may be loaded. Those take you into a series of time slips through which you have to travel to find the pieces of a talisman first discovered on the moon by Apollo XVII but later shattered and lost in time.
First stop is the prehistoric age in which you can become breakfast for a dinosaur, discover hidden pitfalls, and become lost in one of the many forests which dominate the land.
If, after that, you are inclined to travel further you can load the next program and slip back to Ancient Rome where the slaves are revolting and the lions ravenous. Livingstone's long association with role-playing games ensures that full mythology value is injected into the scenario.
The mythological strain continues with a trip to Celtic Britain where you have to rescue the wizard Merlin and meet the crew of Camelot.
Once you have got those pieces of the talisman you can travel to the two final segments of the package which take place in the near past.
Despite the combination of arcade and adventure games the package is disappointing as it offers nothing new.
The package is good value however, especially considering the £25,000 prize for the lucky winner.
EUREKA! Memory: 48K Price: £14.95 Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair Gilbert Factor: 8
Issue 10 (Dec 1984)
Added: 26 Mar 2017
This month, I bring you details of Domark's first game - Eureka. Yes, this is the one that has the £25,000 prize tagged on to its rear-end (check out the ads this month). The game wasn't supposed to be available until the 31st October - magazine editors being no exception. On the other hand, we here at YS always get those exclusive stories!
The game splits into five separate parts, each made up of an arcade game and an adventure. The former gets a pretty low rating in my book and probably wouldn't interest you adventure fanatics anyway. So no more about it, save the excruciating fact that you have to complete the arcade game before you can play each adventure. Yah boo sucks!
The aim of the fivesome is to present a potted history of our meagre planet - starting in Prehistoric times, working on through the Roman Empire, Medieval Britain, Germany during the second World War, and on into the future. Most of the locations you visit contain graphics and, although they use a slightly lower resolution than the ZX Spectrum allows for, they're very cleverly used. At only £14.95 this set's well worth an investment. Here are a few clues to help with the 'War' level.
The action begins in a cornfield (no, not that sort of action!) and from here you'll need to go south-east to find the RAF officer's uniform. When you get caught by the Germans in the village (which is inevitable) you get hauled off to Colditz and stuck in the cooler. Once out, finding your way around the camp isn't too difficult and there are only a few locations where the guards get nasty and throw you back in again.
To make a German officer's uniform you'll need the sewing kit, and that you'll find under the stage. To get an ID card you'll have to go through the secret passage in the chapel - there you'll find the blank card, plus rubber stamp and camera. To make the ID look genuine, you'll need to take a picture of yourself, develop the film, stamp the card - and then bring the pieces together with the MAKE command.
The rope, made from the traditional blankets, can be used to scale the drop below the window at the end of the dormitory, underneath which you'll find a pickaxe and crowbar.
Once out of Colditz, you'll find yourself in the village, but so far further progress has been very slow. However, I'm sure there'll be plenty of hints on all five games in the future... watch this space!
Overall Not Rated
Peter Shaw, David Nicholls