Written by Morpheus Kitami
Polarware/Penguin Software is a name we've seen on this blog before, but in a really roundabout way. Back when Voltgloss talked about Oo-Topos he was also reviewing the first Polarware game the blog has seen. I'm sticking with Polarware. Polarware was the brainchild of one Mark Pelczarski, who I suspect is Polish in some way. He started off creating some of the first color drawing programs on the Apple II. Somewhere around 1982, Pelczarski decided to publish some adventure games. So the story goes that the author of this game, one Antonio Antiochia, then a teenager, showed it to Pelczarski and he liked it so much he gave the lad his drawing program and said he'd publish the end result.
Actually, I say adventure games, but really, only one came out in 1982, everything else that year were generic and forgotten action games. The only interesting titles among those they published outside of the adventure genre was some of Damon Slye's early work. Its a funny thing in retrospect, how so many of these action titles from the '80s people worked hard on at the time, and now they are forgotten entirely in lieu of adventure games only enjoyed by a select few.
All of these games use Polarware's very own COMPREHEND Engine, and most use The Graphics Magician, their in-house graphics engine. The Graphics Magician got licensed out to companies, so I think this is the very first example of a engine part getting licensed out to other companies. Don't quote me on that, I haven't done any research. Ironically enough Oo-Topos was the last Polarware title to use The Graphics Magician, so you've already seen how this will end.
I'll be playing the Macintosh version. The game was released on most available western computers, along with some Japanese computers. There was also a rerelease, with presumably a newer engine and the ability to play it on an Amiga, but it doesn't look that impressive to me. One quirk here, the game disk ejects every time I quit the game. Which means sometimes when I quit I have to reinsert the disk.