Version tested: Retro
The Hewson blurb on the cassette inlay proudly proclaims "Avalon - The 3D Adventure Movie". A bold and brash statement suggesting an interactive gaming experience comparative to playing the hero in the latest blockbuster movie.
On opening the video cassette style box, players find an explorer’s map that can be referenced whilst taking Maroc on his travels, a comprehensives set of instructions (that hint on Avalon being a more complex game than it actually is) and a colour coded sheet of paper from which three separate security codes need to entered to allow access into the game.
Avalon proves to be a mystical graphical wonder within which the player guides Maroc the Wizard - or to be more be precise, his astral projection - through dungeons in search of Lord Chaos in order to destroy him. Along the journey spells can be collected and used to aid the wizard on his quest. All very standard fare, one might say - a wizard, an enemy to destroy, spells to cast and a dungeon to explore.
What makes Avalon special is that the player really does feel as if they are altering the state of play within the dungeon. As each astral life is lost, Maroc is returned to the start of the dungeon with collected spells intact and actions performed in the previous life still in place. Avalon only ever ends with the destruction of the Lord of Chaos.
The 3D world does have a few oddities that may disconcert some players. To go through exits, the player must first knock Maroc into a closed door to open it, which is something of a hit or miss task. Leaving an exit at the top of the screen sees Maroc entering the adjacent room from the left hand side, while the vector graphics flicker wildly (to the point of inducing motion sickness) and the control of Maroc and the casting of spells takes a lot of getting used to.
Avalon does indeed take the player on the adventure of a lifetime, but does fall a little short of placing the player in the shoes of Indiana Jones as the box copy might suggest.
8 / 10