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Corruption

by Rob Steggles and Hugh Steers

Mystery
1988

(based on 17 ratings)
3 member reviews

About the Story

In the real world the good guys rarely win.

CAN YOU COPE WITH CORRUPTION?

The City of London. Deals and chicanery, Porsches and profit, wild animals in handmade suits. And you. Outwardly, you're on the fast track to success. The partnership in the broking from came through today, along with new car, new office, new secretary...

But behind the glittering facade, what corruption lurks unseen?
Are you really a winner? Or are you a dead man? Because in the world of big money, there's nothing in between.

Corruption. It's new. It's different. It's on everyone's mind. Because these people are rich. Vicious. And they run the country.

Corruption is written by Magnetic Scrolls, home of classics like The Pawn and The Guild of Thieves. It's a fast-paced thriller, a battle of wills like nothing else you've ever placed. Your only weapons are communication and information. There's nobody you can trust. And it isn't easy. But then, neither is life.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
IFID: MAGNETIC-4
TUID: kjkj9yw12c8gc1fd

Editorial Reviews

Crash

"Success can only be achieved by being cunning and daring - search your colleagues' offices while they're out. Mind you, Derek's plight provokes much sympathy - even his bitchy wife is having an affair with David, and now she wants a divorce. (It doesn't rain, it pours - Ed.) The poor guy can't win! With the sinister scenario it's a relief that the odd bit of humour is present: in the hospital TV room there's even a teddy bear named Boris, with a stethoscope (could come in useful?) round his neck!(?)

Corruption is a deep and intriguing adventure. Although the Spectrum version lacks the graphics of those on other machines, it loses nothing in atmospheric qualities. The modern setting also makes a refreshing change from the usual diet of mythical scenarios - an extremely professional package which might prove a little too difficult for novices. With so few adventures around, this has got to be one for the adventure alcove."
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SPAG
The Magnetic Scrolls Collection
"The game is timed right to the clock, and if you aren't in EXACT right places at EXACT right times, events go right past you. If that happens, you're starting over [...]" (The Magnificent Linnard)
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SPAG
"Fortunately, Steers and Steggles' prose doesn't ramble. It efficiently paints effective portraits of characters, events and locations, making the illustrations redundant. I turned the graphics off when I played. It's not that there was anything wrong with the illustrations, it's just that characters like the brusque secretary, who really tries to be friendly, and the indifferent lawyer, who, nevertheless, offers comforting platitudes to the law's victims, are vivid and honest enough to trigger mental images on their own." (Walter Sandsquish)
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SynTax
"I was impressed by the different responses I got from characters according to where I was at what time of day and what information I'd managed to find out so far. The wealth of detail is staggering - you seem to be able to examine nearly everything in sight - and the whole adventure is written in a nice, jokey style which I enjoyed." (Neil Shipman)
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SynTax
Magnetic Scrolls Collection
"You've just started a new job in the City and everything should be perfect but you'll soon become aware that Things Are Not What They Seem To Be and someone is heading for a fall - you! If you're not careful you'll be accused of some very dodgy dealings and put in the slammer. [...]

[...] if you haven't played Fish, Guild or Corruption, and you like text games and can put up with the small niggles I've mentioned, The Magnetic Scrolls Collection will certainly give you weeks, if not months, of head-scratching at its various problems." (Sue)
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Your Sinclair

"The day started well. That Scott Electronics deal you handled had done brilliantly, according to your boss, David Rogers, and he'd offered you a partnership in his broking firm, Rogers & Rogers. That means you get a new office, a new secretary and a BMW. It's nice in the morning, your first day as a partner, and David welcomes you and shows you to the new office. Mind you, it looks a lot like the old office - the same chair and filing cabinet, the same desk, and still no phone. A yuppie without a phone? That's like a fish without chips.

Noting your lack of enthusiasm, David tells you the firm will be moving to new offices soon anyway and asks you to take a list of early bookings to the dealing room at the end of the corridor. If you follow him out through your secretary's office, though, you hear him tell her that he'll see her later, and he says that he'll need her signature on a cheque. A secretary co-signing a cheque? Strange, you might think, but that's not the only strange thing you're going to find as you wander round the offices this morning." (Mike Gerrard)
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(5)
4 star:
(6)
3 star:
(3)
2 star:
(3)
1 star:
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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 3
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Not sure why I got this one, January 1, 2021
by End Master (The Outer Reaches Of Your Mind)
In my ongoing quest to collect more C64 games to play, Iím almost certain that getting this one was not my idea. Probably was my parents that thought it looked a little unusual from the typical selection of game themes and so got it for me. It worked many times before (Like with Tass Times) after all.

Yeah, didnít really work this time, though this really isnít the gameís fault. The theme and setting is what it is. I just learned early that I typically preferred less realistic settings.

The game actually came with a cassette tape which had some of the characters having a conversation on it. This provided a little more back story I suppose if you were interested in listening to it. Also contained a blue chip which I believe had a number on it. Not sure what that was for. Just a feelie they threw in I guess. Old games in general were good for those.

So the setting was going for that Wall Street style crime thriller what with all the double dealing, set ups, and well corruption going on. Only difference was this was taking it was place in the UK rather than having the usual US background.

I should point out that this game was technically a graphic adventure, but you could turn off the pictures and if you actually wanted to play a few turns without wasting an hour, Iíd highly suggest doing so because the load times were horrible. If the game had to load up a new area with a different picture, you were in for a long wait. Even back in those days when we were more patient about that sort of thing, it made the whole process unfun.

As for the graphics themselves, they were certainly a much higher caliber than most graphic text adventures had back then, but werenít really necessary in the first place. Honestly I found even with the graphics turned off, the gameís load times could still be on the long side.

Okay so thatís another thing that isnít really the gameís fault. Thatís a software/hardware issue that just happened back then, what about the actual game itself?

Well yeah, I didnít care for that either. I kept dying a lot and not really knowing what the hell I was supposed to be doing. Someone mentioned that the game is pretty unforgiving and that would be a correct statement. The timer on this one of the more ruthless ones. You could have missed doing something obscure within the first fifteen turns of the game and lose later. You really did need to lose a lot to gather an idea of how to proceed

I could chalk some of this up to youthful impatience and not being into the setting, but thereís other games where the setting wasnít really grabbing me (and dying just as much) and I still stuck with them longer.

The version I got even came with a mini hint book complete with solutions. (Donít know if this book came with all of them) The book had questions to certain things and an alphabetical code. You had to type in a code and after a long load time, you got an answer to the question.

Guess what? Even with all the answers readily available to me, I still couldnít be motivated to finish this one. The load time, the setting, just everything bored the hell out of me about it.

Still, it would be unfair to just give the game one star and throw it in the trash. Obviously by other ratings other people liked it quite a bit, and the one good thing I can say is you can type in a lot of different commands in the parser and the game understands which is probably one of the most important things for the IF genre.

I can see why others liked it, but it just wasn't for me.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Crafty, February 2, 2011
Two schools of thought (used to) define adventure games. One school says, "an adventure game is a story whose conflicts have been translated into puzzles," while the second believes, "an adventure game is a puzzle described in terms of a story." The difference is significant.

If you look at "Corruption" through the eyes of the first school, you will see a vastly unfair and agonizingly difficult work of interactive fiction. The game cannot be finished, or even understood, without experience gained through player-character "death." Much of the behavior required of the player character, like spying on his peers or breaking into his partner's office, will, initially, seem unmotivated and paranoid until the player gets stuck in a few dead-ends first. What's more, I can predict, a little smugly, that everyone will discover, just before he thinks he is about reach "Corruption's" climax, that he neglected to do something or other at the start of the story, and must replay the entire game. For instance, (Spoiler - click to show)I found out that I should have thoroughly searched the toilet sometime before the 15th move.

If that sounds irritating and tedious, this may not be a game for you. On the other hand, members of the second school of thought will find a mesmerizing, Chinese-puzzle-box of a game. "Corruption" is a giant riddle, and to decipher its meaning, you must play, and replay, each of its parts. Once the player has mapped out the movements of the non-player characters ó who are deftly portrayed, and whose characterizations add much to the bitter, cynical atmosphere of this game ó he will recognize a web of deceit and betrayal, and be able guide his character to paths that lead to a satisfying ending.

In short, "Corruption" is a well-written, bug-free puzzle fest, and the puzzles are strongly related to an interesting suspense story. Just remember to save early and save often.

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Blast from the past, July 15, 2008
There weren't many games about financial shady dealings and accounting fraud back in the 1980s. There aren't many today, either, come to think of it. Instead the gaming landscape was, and remains, dominated by barbarians swinging swords at trolls. So it was a breath of fresh air when Magnetic Scrolls released Corruption, a game set in the recognisable present, with realistic NPCs behaving like humans, and goals that didn't involve saving the world.

The game was hard, filled with timing puzzles and regularly required you to be in the right place at the right time, but with patience, and the hint books, you could piece together a finely tuned story that carefully drew you in to the yuppie "greed is good" culture operating in Thatcher's Britain. What a pity there were not more games like this.

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