In pursuit of the Holy Grail

CD-Rom games

Hardened adventure gamers bemoan the demise of text-based games and their graphical point-and-click reincarnation. Publishers still hanker to that fondness for text by including facsimiles of letters and ancient parchments in CD game boxes because, despite advances in computer graphics, you still can't beat a good dollop of text for building worlds in players' minds.

Azrael's Tear comes complete with 3D graphics but also replica documents and a manual that waxes poetically about the Knights Templar and 21st- century archaeological site-robbers called Raptors. Linking the two is the Holy Grail. The Knights Templar took it to Scotland in 1146, where it was hidden in a huge underground temple. Centuries later, it is your job to retrieve it.

The influence of first-person shoot-'em-ups such as Quake has spread even to the ostensibly gentler world of adventuring. Playing the part of a Raptor, your view is mediated through a head-up display unit which complements the evidence of your eyes. You are armed. You can check your health and ammunition supplies. There are in-built scanners, speech translation machinery - everything you need, in fact.

Getting the hang of exploring using the mouse and keyboard does not take long, although Windows 95 users might want to keep clicking on the right mouse button at inopportune times. Some of the puzzles, especially the earlier ones, are not too demanding, which helps the less experienced keep the game on the move.

The graphics are fairly slick, though not in the same league as Quake, and the sound effects and music are suitably atmospheric. In short, the parts all contribute to the sum objective of making it easy for a player to immerse him or herself in the game world.

One minor annoyance is the specific mouse driver requirement. If you don't have Microsoft's 7.26 or higher driver, typing "Azrael" - the name of the batch file that tests your set-up before launching the program - will result in an error message and a return to DOS.

If your mouse is Microsoft-compatible, you can get round this by entering "R", which launches the program directly, and your mouse should work fine.


Azrael's Tear (Mindscape, pounds 44.99). Minimum requirements: double-speed CD-Rom drive (quad speed recommended); 486 DX2/66 processor (Pentium recommended); DOS 5 or greater; 8Mb Ram (16Mb recommended); 1MB Vesa compliant SVGA card; 10Mb free uncompressed hard disk space; Microsoft compatible mouse and driver version 7.26 or higher; SoundBlaster card or compatible.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value

Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

    £65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

    Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

    £27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas