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Arcade: Adventure
ZX Spectrum 48K

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John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

THE LIFE of a store detective is not always fun, especially when you have to pamper to the whims of a psychotic store boss who is hooked on warning notices, bring him cups of tea and look after your reputation as a super sleuth.

Play starts on the street outside the store. You must decide how to keep the boss happy for a day without getting the sack. You will be given three warning letters before that unhappy event occurs.

Your first job should be to map the store. Although you have been there for years you have had a sudden attack of pernicious amnesia.

Getting tea for his nibs is easier said than done. First you have to find it, crashing though hundreds of customers who are not averse to calling you a clumsy oaf. Then take the tea to the top floor where Sir - a talking head in a swivel chair - will give you a mouthful of abuse, courtesy of the scrolling message window.

On your way up you will find objects which will be of help in your store patrol. Those include a wooden box, a skateboard, a gun, a hammer and a cage. The use of some of those is obvious but you will have to work hard to discover the use of others.

As well as giving the boss his tea you are contracted to shoot ducks on the ground floor, kill bugs - not in the program - and extinguish fires. All those tasks are overseen by the boss who will literally give you the boot if you are slow. So, get on your skateboard and start moving. The day finishes at 5.30pm and there are still hours of hectic floor walking ahead of you.

Grumpy Gumphrey, Supersleuth, with its novel plot, is a welcome change from Monty Mole. The graphics are better than the Mole games - not so much screen flicker - and the plot is complex. Most of the characters within the store have some semblance of intelligence and often reveal that they have more upstairs than Grumpy.

Show your boss that you can bring some sanity to this computerised version of a Saturday morning at Marks and Sparks. You will find it a difficult but rewarding job.

John Gilbert

Publisher: Gremlin Graphics
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair