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 M ost adventure players would agree that the more complex the program the better, and that, despite the aggravation and the desperate searching of Roget's Thesaurus, the solving of even the simplest tasks - simple that is to the uninvolved observer - can provide enormous satisfaction.

If you are a player who values such brain-numbing programs and do not mind plenty of hard work then Fantasia Diamond is ideal. The huge diamond of the title was a family heirloom until it was purloined and taken to a vast fortress beyond the river. Boris the master spy has already failed to win it back and the task falls to you to recover it and Boris as well, a straightforward plot with no easy solution.

The setting is a nebulous world where ghastly pixies rub shoulders with toy robots, where you journey from modern houses to magical underground cavern systems. You must eat and drink to survive and take care to use the relationships you develop with other characters to the full.
   For, like The Hobbit, the others have lives of their own and will help only if they decide to do so.

Complex language analysis is used and sentences can be entered in almost standard English. All the usual adventure conventions such as score, inventory and so on are available to the player. Speech has some effect on other characters and there is a useful repeat facility with which you can enter the same command time and again in the hope that people's attitude will change.



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