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Mines of Lithiad, The - Review

Review by Denk

Ratings

Parser/Vocabulary
7
Atmosphere
7
Cruelty
Tough
Puzzles
8
Overall
8
Written:
12-01-2021
Last edited:
Platform:
Spectrum

Jack Lockerby was one of the most prolific homegrown authors on the ZX Spectrum and c64. Luckily the ZX Spectrum versions have been made available by John Wilson, who owned Zenobi Software and the right to distribute these games.

The Mines of Lithiad is definitely one of the better ones.

Once you are past the introduction location, the game starts out with a large area with mostly empty locations. Though several of these have the same location description, it is not at all a maze, as the map is very logically laid out. I guess the main purpose of this map layout is to make it a bit challenging to solve a specific puzzle within a time limit. Here, I should add, that there are real time elements. These real time elements are very rarely a problem, especially as you can save as often as you like quite quickly with a free ZX Spectrum emulator like Fuse. So even if you don't like real time elements in IF, I recommend that you try this one.

And if you dislike inventory limits, you should know, that you can find a solution to that quite early in the game, so that isn't a problem either.




Parser/Vocabulary (Rating: 7/10)

As this is made with PAW, it is often possible to use 4 words, similar to e.g. PUT BALL IN BOX or GET PEN FROM BASKET. However, whenever two words are sufficient to describe the action, you should stick to two words. I never had serious guess-the-verb problems.

Atmosphere (Rating: 7/10)

Brief descriptions but still they set the right atmosphere.

Cruelty (Rating: Tough)

Can be made unwinnable, but will quickly become apparent if that happens.

Puzzles (Rating: 8/10)

Once you are past the big opening area, the map becomes more standard with lots of fun puzzles, some original as well as a few classic puzzles.

I needed a hint for two puzzles. They weren't unfair, so with more patience, you might be able to solve it without hints.

Overall (Rating: 8/10)

Very entertaining, certainly one I can recommend.