Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Tai-Pan'

Rating:5 User: Alessandro Grussu

The first true 128K game, Tai-Pan is based upon the eponymous novel by James Clavell. Set in the Far East in the 1840s, it is basically an open-ended game of large proportions where you must earn your living as a smuggler, pirate or honest trader - the choice is up to you.

Starting from a humble beginning you must first repay your debit with a benefactor within six months, otherwise your head will be chopped off! Then you can roam the South China Sea freely, hoping to amass a fortune and earn yourself the title of Tai-Pan.

Although most of the times you will be wandering through the streets of the various cities of the game - which incidentally all look pretty much the same - there are several twists and turns that will help avoiding the impression of "being there, done that" which is the bane of this kind of video games. For instance, you will have to defend yourself from pirate assaults, or even conduct one if you choose to be a pirate yourself! You can also gamble if you like, hoping to earn a few bucks more.

Tai-Pan is a truly epic title, and for its sheer size and scope it deserves a classic status.