The Lost Treasures of Tulum is a new dungeon explorer on the ZX Spectrum which means you’re exploring in a different way to how you would normally: This is because the screen is revealed in full as you go along. Hence, you can only see a portion of the screen at a time, unless you’ve just come from there.
As such, fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and death can come quickly if you don’t act more cautiously.
Collect a number of diamonds, and once you’ve found all four required in each stage, the door will open, allowing you to progress to the next stage. You must also avoid spikes and baddies – the latter of which I first thought was still moving about in the dark if I hadn’t yet discovered that section of the screen, but I later realised that the darkness causes them to ‘die’. That would’ve been a cruel mistress for them to still be shifting about… but all the while, listen to the gorgeous 128K music!
The movement of your guy is fantastic and it has wonderful use of colour with very little colour clash.
There are no lives as such – just one long health bar. Make it from stage to stage for as long as you can, but there are few top-ups – including the fact that after each ‘special level’ (which are added along the way, where you cannot permanently light the way not for love, not money, nor diamonds!), your energy bar is topped up to the max, but once it has expired at any point in the adventure, it’s game over.
At least, when you die on a stage which you’re finding difficult to complete, the entire thing does show up at the very end, so you can learn for next time.
In The Lost Treasures of Tulum, you also have a whip to… well, whip said baddies, and some levels also have a stone tablet which, when whipped, will either reveal the entire map in one go or, on occasion, plunge you back into darkness! On experience so far, this is set on a per-level basis, so isn’t a random thing, and you will be able to see if whipping it reveals a sun (to show the whole screen) or a moon (for darkness). If you’re in the dark, you’ll stay that way until you can touch the torch again at the entrance. This ain’t easy – and in some cases, you can only get to a particular diamond on the other side of a moon!
Overall, on my first attempts through it, I got as far as level 18, with a few ‘special levels’ discovered, but not all of them. I didn’t realise how close I was to the end at that point, since there are 24 main levels. When I tried to tackle them again, I could only complete it by saving a snapshot three times along the way, but then if we did have ‘lives’, it would make that as broad as its long.
Had this come out in the ’80s, it would’ve been a massive hit and a ‘Crash smash’, so if, like me, you also have a penchant for such platformers, get this NOW!
The Lost Treasures Of Tulum is released by Retroworks, and can be downloaded from their website. There are a number of emulators you can use, but I tend to favour Spectaculator 8.0.
Check out my gameplay walkthrough below:
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.