Black Magic (video game)
Black Magic is a multi-directional scrolling action-adventure game written for the Apple II by Peter Ward and published by Datasoft in 1987. Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, and Amstrad CPC versions were also released.
The evil wizard Zahgrim has turned the good wizard Aganar to stone, removed his six eyes, and placed them in different locations across the land so they may view the destruction being reaped. The player's objective is to find the six eyeballs scattered across the land which are needed to pass the Blind Statue. Once the eyes are placed back in the Blind Statue's empty sockets, a message appears explaining how to end Zahgrim's rule over the land once and for all. It is achieved by entering his castle, a wicked and difficult maze of traps and monsters.
The gameplay involves moving through a large, side-view scrolling world, collecting items, shooting arrows at enemies, and casting spells. The world scrolls both vertically and horizontally, and most areas within it do not have to be visited in a fixed order. Resources are limited. You are always on the verge of running out of food, and arrows are also in short supply. When one of the statue's eyes is collected, new types of monsters appear in the world making travel more difficult. This makes the game play differently depending on the order the eyes are collected.
Spells provide alternate approaches to problems. You can turn yourself invisible, for example, so monsters can't hurt you. Or you can freeze water so the creatures in it cannot move. New spells are unlocked with each rank.
The game was reviewed in 1987 in Dragon #124 by Hartley and Patricia Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers stated the "Certainly, this is one of the better games in the current crop of arcade/adventure games, as the tasks required to complete the quest are quite varied."
- "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".
- Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia (August 1987). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (124): 92–96.