The Pawn

Title           The Pawn
Game Type       Adventure
Company         Magnetic Scrolls
Players         1
Compatibility   All?
Submission      William Payne

The Pawn
Laying the groundwork for its reputation for producing tight puzzle games
backed up with detailed graphics and an extremely intuitive text parser,
The Pawn was an ahead-of-its-time adventure game based in a fantasy world
known as Kerovnia. The Pawn featured an engrossing plot and "intelligent"
non-player characters, both of which are still impressive today, if only
as an example of the imagination adventure writers put into their games at
the time. Although it was released on every popular platform of its age,
the Amiga version is perhaps the most fondly remembered because of the
superior technical quality of the graphics. The puzzles were frustratingly
difficult but entirely logical (once they'd been solved, of course...) and
the surreal images and landscapes stayed with the player long after the
game had been completed.

The game structure, like that of so many adventure games of the time,
would not be tolerated by today's gamers. In particular, if one specific
puzzle at the start of the game wasn't solved correctly, it meant that the
game becomes unfinishable. However, this wouldn't be discovered until the
very end of the game. Highly frustrating, but this kind of thing was
tolerated and even expected by adventurers of the time, and The Pawn was
by no means the worst offender (was it, Alice in Wonderland?)

The Pawn was also notable for its use of the Amiga's "say" functions,
which, if activated, would make the program read out the text on screen in
that metallic voice Amiga users came to know and love. If I remember
correctly, you could even choose if it used the male, female or robotic
voice, not that it mattered too much as it was very hard to differentiate
between them. I can only assume this feature was put in for the benefit of
the visually impaired, as it took so long to read a page of text it became
dull very quickly.

Spiked with the trademark, curious Magnetic Scrolls humour, playing The
Pawn today can provide a relaxing and almost serene experience, much more
reminiscent of a crossword puzzle than of Tekken Tag Tournament.

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