John's Fire Witch

Developer/Publisher:  Written by John Baker
Year Released:  1995

Review by Karen Tyers on a PC (1999)
I downloaded this from the ftp.gmd internet site which has become one of my favourite places for shareware and freeware text adventures. All power to the elbow of those who maintain it and those who contribute to it. The game is written with TADS and I believe it is the author's first attempt at using this system. I found no spelling mistakes, or bugs in it.

The story starts with you having arranged to meet a friend at a pizza and beer hot spot, but he hasn't turned up. After downing a few beers you get fed up with waiting so you decide to head over to his place to see if he's still at home. Arriving at his place, you find the door unlocked and no sign of your friend. However, you feel somewhat the worse for wear after the beer, so you fall asleep in his living room. Awakening the next morning you find that a horrendous snowstorm overnight has trapped you in the flat, and there is still no sign of your friend, so you decide to start looking around.

Hunting around the house, you will soon discover a couple of letters and a diary, which all make interesting reading. The diary in particular should be read thoroughly as it gives a possible clue to your friend's disappearance. Apparently he has been having vivid dreams about a hole in his basement, and the Fire Witch and Ice Wizard that live down there. It seems that the Ice Wizard has imprisoned the Fire Witch and your friend was obsessed with thoughts of freeing her. The diary also mentions a crystal card, and a magic word.....

With much food for thought, you start to explore the lower reaches of the house, and soon discover a hole in the basement wall, and this is where the game really opens up. Going down the hole brings you into an entirely new realm, and several puzzles to solve, including how to cross a pit full of spikes, how to stop yourself being frozen and how to open a vault.

This is a small game with only 37 locations, but there is still quite a lot to do. The game leads you gently from one puzzle to the next, and none are too difficult. I would say that this is an ideal game for a beginner. Even experienced adventurers can find a few hours amusement with this one.

(This review was originally published in Adventure Probe, UK, edited by Barbara Gibb. Reprinted here with the kind permission of the author).

You can download John's Fire Witch from the following address:

Copyright © Karen Tyers on a PC 1999. All rights reserved.