Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Reviewed by Mr. Bill & Lela
What would happen if your average, rebellious smart-mouthed adolescent were to suddenly find himself dropped into a fantasy world of might and magic? He'd be thrilled, right? And he'd act with skill and courage and nobility, and take on great quests to save king and kingdom, right? Wrong!!! This is the real world folks, and what you'd get is someone like Simon.
Simon is ticked! He has a major problem. You see, he just turned 12 and his parents hired that same old tired magician again for his birthday party, instead of getting him a dog like he wanted. So he did exactly what a million other boys his age would have done: he made fun of the old guy until he finally stormed out.
It was sometime later when the doorbell rang. There sat a dog wearing a bow on the doorstep... carrying a book in a strange language in its mouth. Certain that his benighted parents had finally gotten the hint, he grabbed the dog and tossed the book aside, only to watch in horror later when it exploded into some kind of freaky portal, which his new pet immediately walked through. Without thinking (and how often do real kids do that?), he followed.
Now he finds himself sitting on a rock somewhere, wearing a silly-looking pointed hat and with a gown on over his jeans and tee shirt, surrounded by a group of hungry trolls who think he's 'food'. And he's told that the only way he can get back home is to rescue Calypso, the magician, from the evil sorcerer Sordid. It's payback time, and Simon is NOT a happy camper!
With that inspired idea as their starting point, the talented people at Adventure Soft obviously went on to have a lot of fun developing this game. While retaining the popular 'wizard-on-a-quest-in-fantasyland' format, all of the creatures, characters and situations are anything but standard fare. The writers poke fun at anything and everything that you've come to expect in fantasy adventure games, and some of the characters are absolutely inspired and unforgettable (like the Woodworms, the Dodgy Geezer, and the Swampling).
Simon himself is your typical smart aleck kid, even going so far as to turn and crack off at you, the player, occasionally. And everyone else in the game has the same cheeky attitude too, so conversations between characters present many opportunities for some classic comedy routines. Soon you find that you're snickering in spite of yourself!
It's a long, 2D, 3rd person game, with voice (on the CD version) and standard inventory and map for easy travel, and it uses commands like 'talk to', 'give', and 'pick up'. The puzzles are original, related to the demented nature of the characters encountered, and range in difficulty from fairly easy to convoluted and mind numbing. But there's a 'wise old owl' to give hints, and you can't die in the game.
The midi music is great (turn on your speakers and refresh to hear some now), and the ambient additions include things like butterflies, birds singing and the sound of waterfalls. The beautiful graphics are rendered with loving attention to detail, especially the many flowers, and the rich, deep colors remind you of old oil paintings.
It's a delightful game. We certainly hope to see a lot more of this adolescent-with-an-attitude in the future!
First released on 3.5 inch disks in 1993, then re-released in 1995 on CD, with voice.
Developed (1993, 1995) and published by Adventure Soft Publishing.
Also both the original Simon The Sorcerer and the sequel Simon The Sorcerer II are available in one box called the Simon the Sorcerer Double Pack.
Minimum System Requirements: PC Only!
PC: 386 40 MHz; MS-DOS / Windows 95 Compatible); 4 MB RAM; CD ROM Drive; VGA / MCGA, 256 Color Graphics Card; SoundBlaster or 100% Compatible Sound Card; 10 to 11 MB of Free Hard Drive Space for CD Version; Microsoft Mouse or 100% Compatible
Where To Buy This Game:
The best chance for finding the original Floppy, Disc or CD versions of this game would be at used software places or auctions or trading sites. Our Places To Buy Games page may be able to assist you in finding a copy of this game.