Title           Sanctuary
Game Type       Adventure
Publisher       Lifestyle Software Arts, 1991
Players         1
Compatibility   All
HD Installable  No
Submission      Bernd Gmeineder

"Amiga games the world does not know......" This time, Sanctuary, a
text-based adventure by the Bavarian company Lifestyle Software Arts. The
game comes in a medium sized hardcover box. On the front side there is a
fantasy drawing showing two awesome friars, a rider and a monastery in the
background. The sky is dark and cloudy. There are lightning bolts. On the
back side there is some text which tells the background story in five
languages. There follows a citation of the English text:

"Welcome to England in the year of our Lord 1342. You are in a secluded
monastery, the faraway mountains rising against the sky. A mysterious
mounted messenger would deliver an arcane scroll of historical parchment,
foretelling the monks impending mischief. A succession of sinister murders
would make the peace and silence of the monastery shriek. Atrocious crimes
would then make the prophecy come true, and bitterly so. Fear and panic
would spread all over the place. Sanctuary, a genuine medieval crime

Moreover there are two screenshots on the box: They are 2/3 artwork and
1/3 text input box. The quality of these computer drawings is average.
They are not better than the numerous pictures shown in the readers’
sections of old Amiga magazines. The box says nothing about its rather
interesting contents which could attract potential customers: There are
two floppy disks, a short German manual, an antique looking piece of paper
for notes, a poster with the motive of the cover artwork and an audio tape.

As the handbook, it is the most important item, there is some further
information for the game on it: Firstly, on only three pages and with very
big letters it tells a short story about a rider who is on the way to the
monastery and has a bad message, in the form of a parchment roll, for its
inhabitants. It gives no further facts. As for the contents of that
telegram you have to refer to the text on the box. Besides, the manual
informs you that you take the role of a monk and have to try to
investigate the mysterious murders on the convent area and find the
historical parchment of the rider (why?). Furthermore there is a short
description of the adventure's text input system which uses orders like
"talk to monk",“"show book" or "take map". On the last page there is a
drawing for the really stupid copy protection, which consists of several
squares and colour fields.

Now when you start the game you have to get over the protection which will
take a while. Then you find yourself in the monastery, get already known
information from the manual, and finally you can begin your detective
work. As for me I had serious problems to get on in the game. The texts
miss essential information. It seems to be pure luck to put together the
correct sentences to enable you to proceed. Although I have been
fascinated by the text adventures of Infocom and Level 9, in this game it
seems that no ambience is arising. Soon I lost any motivation with this
poor product. As the graphics are only average it is also no fun simply
exploring all the rooms and the monastery gardens. Finally a quick
word about the audio cassette: The songs on it are mainly instrumental and
try to form a meditative mood. However, there are also some really asinine
songs on it with a woman crying and another person sneezing. They are an
impertinence to listen to!

Altogether this game is very disappointing. On the first view there are
some gems in the box, but in the end they fail to contribute to a better
gaming experience.

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