PANDORA REVIEW by Richard Karsmakers
The generation ship Pandora was conceived by the British
research team Maincore Computer Development in collaboration with
a group of eminent European scientists in the latter half of the
It carried a mixed crew of humans and droids, and was designed
to support life indefinitely whilst drifting through the
unchartered territories of space seeking out alien life forms of
a greater intelligence than man. The ship was controlled by a
seventh generation computer, Pandora, after which the spacecraft
had been named.
Pandora's design brief was to surpass the capabilities of any
other computer - past, present of future. During its
construction, a major component - the Bio-Rhythmic-Stabilisers -
could not be tested under alien conditions. Pandora's research
team were of the opinion that destabilisation of this component
could lead to pseudo-aggressive tendencies, resulting in
contravention of the computer's operational directives. However,
it was thought that it was very unlikely that this condition
It is now the twenty second century and Pandora has been roaming
space for almost two hundred years, and Maincore's monitoring
team has discovered that rather than roaming deeper into space,
Pandora is rapidly making its way back to Earth...
Pandora's imminent return to Earth made front page headlines in
every journal. Pandora's current intentions are still not known,
and neither are the contents of its cargo hold.
Your mission as an Intergalactic Salvage Operator is to board
and investigate Pandora. If anything strange has happened, the
success of your mission will be gauged by the number of alien
artefacts salvaged and returned to Earth for analysis.
In Firebird's most recent release, "Pandora", you become the
Intergalactic Salvage Operator, trying to retrieve as much
objects as possible from the spacecraft and also trying to find
out what the computer aboard the Pandora is actually up to.
In the game, you look on top of the spacecraft where our hero
walks in search if information, artefacts and more. It is his job
to trade objects, avoid monsters and fight when needed. You can
direct him through a great variety of rooms and halls, where he
will meet brainless blobs, droids, thieves (dangerous!),
hooligans (they are very strong, so fighting is useless), bank
managers (easy to kill) and other inhabitants. He will have to
gain access to terminals, for which he will have to collect
various authorisation cards that he may find on dead bodies lying
around or that he might trade.
The graphics in the game are very well drawn, although the game
is altogether a bad scroller - sometimes a bit annoying. In every
room there are beds, carpets and terminals, and the ship has
different and distinctive areas that have different graphics,
too. The music (by David Whittaker) is up to his usual standard,
and you will notice some extra music when you enter the bar (to
the north side of the ship) and the pianist starts playing his
"Pandora" is a very good game, that doesn't decrease the general
high quality of Firebird software. I am afraid, though, that it
is not as good as "Return to Genesis" and not as addictive as
"Bubble Bobble" (a game that I still play several times a week:
My hiscore is now 1209800 and I reached level 84!).
Overall rating: 8-
Remark: Not too good a scrolling.
Many thanks go to Ms. Sue Winslow at Telecom Software for
arranging the review copy. I am awfully sorry, Sue, but I forgot
the price so I couldn't mention it. I thought it was £24.95 but
I'm not quite sure...
For info, contact:
64-76 New Oxford Street
London WC1A 1PS