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Download Fish!

Fish!
 
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In 1983, in England, Anita Sinclair, Ken Gordon, and Hugh Steers got together to form a company named Magnetic Scrolls. Their purpose was to create interactive text-based adventure games. At the time, there was a big demand for such games on the existing 8- and 16-bit platforms, and Magnetic Scrolls, being an English company, immediately had an advantage in the British market. Well, anyone who wishes to know more about Magnetic Scrolls won't have any difficulty in finding information about it, so let's talk about the game we are presenting here.

Fish! was one of the last games labeled as "traditional" to be released by the company in 1988. By that time, the first graphical point-and-click adventures were emerging, and the classic text-based adventure games were starting to lose popularity. And this game's plot is a little unrealistic, or not really, except the main character is a... well, if you were thinking, "Fish," you got it. Let me remind you, however, that this "fish" isn't like any other fish, because he is also "Agent 10," one of the best agents in an ultra-secret governmental organization - so secret that nobody has ever heard of it. But, you're asking me, "How can a fish be a secret agent?" Well, you know, thanks to some recent and quite innovative technology, it's possible to do something called a "warp." Now you ask, "What the heck is a warp?" No, it's not one of those space jumps made by futuristic spaceships like the Enterprise; it's nothing but a special technique which allows our hero - that little fish inside that fish bowl - to grab a "host." As part of that process, there is some sort of "mind-melding," in which the strongest mind (the fish mind, of course) will take control of the host's body.

But, what is this organization's purpose? Well, as with everything in the known - and probably the unknown - universe, from real life to pure fantasy, there are always two sides: the "good" side and the "bad" one. These evil bastards always find a way to bring mischief upon the world. The bad guys of this story are called the "Seven Deadly Fins," and they are plotting to exterminate all marine life - something that the good guys cannot let happen. As a reward for stopping their evil plans, our little hero wants nothing more than to spend a well-deserved holiday inside his little fish bowl, well fed and with nothing else to do.

This game, as I previously mentioned, is a text-based adventure. However, it has a few pictures to set the right mood, but they do not change much. These graphics have plenty of colors - 16 of them, in fact, at a time when most developers still used the 4 basic colors of CGA. About sound, all I can say is that I didn't hear a thing. The command interpreter is quite good, as it can recognize sentences with several words. This can be either a strong or a weak point, because, although the game can recognize some complex sentences, I didn't find its dictionary comprehensive enough - for example, at the beginning of the game, our small fish is swimming upside down. To make him swim like he is supposed to, you have to enter the right command ("turn over" and not "turn upside up" or something like that). For those who find themselves stuck at some part of the game, we have included a walkthrough, but try to finish the game without consulting it, or else you will lose all the fun this game has to offer.

All in all, this is one of those games which adventure fans will want to try out. Players who prefer point-and-click games or who are simply too lazy to type in the commands are advised to stay away from this game. To all the others, I recommend you try it out!

To run this game in DOS, you need an interpreter. This interpreter is included in the game archive; it is the executable file magnetic.exe. To run the game, after mounting the folder where the game is located in DOSBox, just type the command magnetic fish.mag, or type the command in the "Run..." dialog from the Windows Start menu.


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Reviewed by: Shrek / Screenshots by: Shrek / share on facebook
 

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