Spectrum Games Terrormolinos
Terrormolinos was a humourous text adventure game from Melbourne House (who went on to become Beam Software).
It was released on the ZX Spectrum towards the end of 1985 and was a novel title as it was based around the traditional British package holiday (The title of the game was a play on the real Spanish tourist destination of Torremolinos located on the Costa Del Sol).
Anyway - this adventure game is well known for it's humour and gentle pokes of fun at the British holiday stereotype. It is also notable for being another successful game created by use of the Quill (a tool for creating text adventures developed by Gilsoft).
The aim of the game was to survive a two-week family package holiday (in the fictional resort of Terrormolinos) with your wife Beryl and the kids Doreen and Ken. They even got the characters names spot on for a Speccy game like this.
You began the game at home (your house in Slough) frantically packing your belongings - and a taxi was on it's way to pick you up and take you and the family to the airport. So the first problem to overcome was to collect all necessary items and make it to the taxi before the driver became impatient and drove away.
Command input was the usual text adventure method (N to move north, S for South, Get Snorkel, Examine sandals etc) which was familiar to ZX Spectrum adventure gamers.
The game displayed how many moves you had made (eg moving North to a new room etc was one move), and conserving your moves as much as possible was the key to a good holiday.
Throughout the game you would go through each stage of a typical holiday such as:
- Flight to Spain (where you would meet fellow holidaymakers)
- Checking into your hotel
- Trip to the beach (where you had to avoid heatstroke)
- Watch a bull-fight
- A dip in the sea
There were many more locations in the game to visit, and how you acted in them had a bearing on completing the game.
To complete the game you had to take ten photographs (to prove you were there!) - allowing for a variety of snaps depending on when and where you chose to take them. This is where the real character of the game stood out; at the end of the game the photo's could be reviewed in a slide-show style giving you reminders of your trip. At points during the game you were bound to make a fatal mistake, and a nice snap would appear (perhaps of you being burned to a cinder by the sun) showing your error.
You only had a total of twelve pictures to take though, so only two pictures could be 'mistakes' (taking snaps in certain locations was a waste of film, but within the game it was usually pretty obvious when to take a snap and when not to).
Terrormolinos was funny from start to finish. Your house in Slough with it's tacky wallpaper and ornaments, the resort hotel, the nightclub complete with terrible dancers throwing their 'moves' and so on. The guys at Melbourne House paid a lot of attention to detail and got the tone and atmosphere of the game just right.
Melbourne House had previously released a game in a similar format (Hampstead) which had gone down well with adventure game players so Terrormolinos was highly anticipated. The game did not disappoint and was a big hit - and was even pretty popular with those that did not regularly play adventure games (due to the fact that it did make you laugh and oozed charm). Crash magazine scored it with a Crash Smash award and it was a big hit.
The test of time:
We love a good text adventure in Spectrum Games and this is still a good un. This game is still good for a giggle and suits the era it was made in if you know what I mean. The photo's you have to take have the right look about them - resembling snaps you may get from somewhere like Blackpool seafront or good old Skeggy. If you like old school text adventures and a laugh then you could do a lot worse than Terrormolinos.
Grab your tanning oil and disosable camera, we're off to sunny sunny Spain!
We recommend getting hold of the real hardware but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator and download Terrormolinos for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
GENRE: Text adventure
RELEASE DATE: End of 1985
RELEASED BY: Melbourne House
DEVELOPER(S): Melbourne House
PRICE: £7.95 - UK
Even the cassette packaging was suitably kitch in this classic adventure game:
Classic Games and Arcade Games