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Gift from the Gods

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Released: 1984

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Ocean

Developer: Denton Designs

Submitted by: Ian Marks

In the early eighties we were going to get some mega games apparently. They were to be called Psyclapse and Bandersnatch, and they would be MEGA!

Sadly the company that dreamt up these games (Imagine Software) weren’t as mega as their games, and they went bust, but not before releasing a few piles of steaming plop on the gaming public (see BC Bill and Pedro). However there were some talented games programmers at Imagine, and when it all went tits up, they left and set up Denton Designs. One of their first games was Gift from the Gods.

In it you played a Greek bloke called Orestes with winged shoes (shades of Perseus here). You had to travel through some catacombs and avenge your father’s death. Killing many mythological monsters along the way.

Graphics were top notch. My vivid memory of the time was of the Hydra with its snake heads swirling about in beautiful 8-Bit Spectrum glory. Orestes himself was also pretty niftily animated, and really looked the part of a Greek hero.

I wasn’t the greatest 8-bit gamer in the world, and I do suspect that I didn’t have much patience as a child, but Gift from the Gods was a bit complicated for me. In my opinion the game was too hard and involved an awful lot of wandering (flying) around aimlessly looking for things. In most cases I wasn’t really sure what I was supposed to be doing either. The game auto selected what it thought you wanted to do, so it decided for you whether you wanted to fly or fight etc. when you pressed a button. To me this just got me even more confused.

If this is anything like what Psyclapse and Bandersnatch were to be like then I don’t think it would have saved Imagine from self destruction. It was like a lot of the Imagine products of old, it looked good, it promised so much, but ultimately failed to deliver. It suffered from the worst fault you could have in a ZX Spectrum game… it was just simply dull.