Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum
Publisher: The Edge
Developer: Bo Jangeborg
Submitted by: Ian Marks
Fairlight was a defining program in my Spectrum game history. It looked wonderful, and although I never completed it, the atmospherics and the environment somehow drew me in. As a small child the land of Fairlight was one I really wanted to visit.
When The Edge software house brought out Fairlight 2 it was like a dream come true. Another chance to visit the beautiful world that I’d loved so much the year before. I knew once I bought it I’d be playing and enjoying it for weeks.
As with most things in life though… it didn’t work out quite like that.
However please don’t let anything I’m about to say about it make you think it’s a bad game. It’s not, it’s a good game. A lot of care and attention has gone into it. There were some niggling problems with it though, that stopped me enjoying it as much as it's prequel.
The main problem is that it is the same game as Fairlight. There’s a few nicely drawn trees bunged in, and some vicious wolves. But essentially it just looks like an expansion pack for the first game.
Why is this bad I hear you ask?
Well, I was expecting so much more. I wanted new locations, new ways of solving puzzles but all I got was a slightly prettier, slightly faster version of the older game.
Like it’s predecessor it suffers from not knowing exactly where you can leave the screen. Some sides look like you should be able to go that way, but there is an invisible wall, whereas the other side of the screen looks exactly the same, but lets you through. Also some of the puzzles in Fairlight 2 were really obscure. Even with magazine hints and tips, I still failed to get very far.
Like Dun Darach to Tir-Na-Nog, and like Pentagram to Knight Lore, Fairlight 2 was still a good game, it just couldn’t live up to the sheer wonder of first seeing it’s parent game. It needed to do something different, and it didn’t.
As a small 1980’s boy I was disappointed… but there was hope… I knew in 20 or so years time games companies wouldn’t be releasing sequels with only slight changes anymore, and charge full price for essentially expansion packs… oh yes the future would be bright… what could possibly go wrong?