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Reviews by Denk

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View this member's reviews by tag: ADRIFT 4 ADRIFT 5 Eamon inform
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The Fortress of Fear, by Larry Horsfield
Quality oldschool game, July 24, 2018
by Denk
Related reviews: ADRIFT 5
The Fortress of Fear (FoF) is the 4th episode of The Adventures of Alaric Blacmoon. On the other hand, it was the first Alaric Blackmoon game to be written with ADRIFT, so I was quite curious if it had the same quality as the previous episodes. I think it has and overall FoF is a very fine game.

Without going into too much detail, Alaric must get to the bell tower of a big fortress, which is under siege of an evil sorcerer. The sorcerer has slaughtered most of the good staff of the fortress so there are ghosts everywhere requiring objects to let you pass. In addition, they might help you, if you help them. You will also meet a few people who are still alive, and in the end, you will of course face the evil sorcerer.

The game has the same appearance and feel as previous episodes, which is good. As usual, it is necessary to search, look under and look behind objects whenever it makes sense, to ensure you do not miss an object. The puzzles range from easy to difficult but always logical.

The player should be aware of the command "timeoff" though. This is a command used to turn off real time elements. I don't like real time elements in IF-games but since they can be turned off it is not a problem at all.

If you become stuck, the first place to look for inspiration is the VOCAB command, which gives you a list of verbs understood by the game. Typing help gives you the e-mail address of the author, which I did use more than once since the game is very big and I believe most people will become stuck at some point. I encourage everyone playing Larry Horsfield's games to ask for help in this way instead of just giving up, since his games have a lot to offer.This game is no exception.

Trick or Treat, by David Whyld

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Nice comeback, June 3, 2018
by Denk
Related reviews: ADRIFT 4
It has been 5 years since David Whyld last made an ADRIFT game. But it was worth the wait. Trick or Treat was made with ADRIFT 4, which means that it is playable with Fabularium, Gargoyle etc. It starts out with you and your friends trying to "trick or treat" at an old man's house. Unfortunately the old man is crazy, lopping off your friend's head and capturing you and your other friend Emmie.

The game is filled with crazy humor and puzzles as you try to rescue yourself and Emmie and there are more than one ending, depending on how well you do inside the crazy old man's house.

The initial puzzles are quite easy but the game gradually gets harder.

Fun try it out!

Shadowpeak, by Kevin Bailey

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Has potential but flawed design, June 3, 2018
by Denk
Related reviews: ADRIFT 4
In this game you play the role as Loralang, a famed knight, which has to travel back in time and retrieve the golden sceptre and kill the undead lord, Morac.

So much for the story. The game is oldschool and is a combination of puzzles, a bit of random combat and unfortunately also random deaths. I haven't completed the game, but from what I have seen so far, there are some decent puzzles. The random combat I have seen was far too easy, so it was quite pointless.

Even though I like oldschool games, random combat and don't care too much about the Player's Bill of Rights, I feel this game could have been a lot better if it weren't for the very common random deaths caused by the dragon. It is practically impossible to avoid it for long and according to the built-in hints, the only thing you can do is to avoid the dragon. So even though I came across some decent puzzles, I find it hard to recommend this game.

Risorgimento Represso, by Michael J. Coyne

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Enjoyable puzzler, April 15, 2018
by Denk
Related reviews: Inform
In this parser game, you play the role of a student, who is by accident sucked into another world of magic where you become a wizard's apprentice. The wizard quickly gets in trouble and you have to help him out.

The writing is full of humor and there are many fine puzzles, though a few of them were a bit unfair to my liking. Luckily there are built-in hints so you can get through the game with some help. I doubt many will solve the game completely without hints. The implementation is very good though.

I prefer the sequel Illuminismo Iniziato over this one, since I regard the puzzles as better in the sequel. Still this was an entertaining game with a good story. I can certainly recommend this to anyone who can accept the need to consult the hints once in a while.

Illuminismo Iniziato, by Michael J. Coyne

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
English game with italian title, April 12, 2018
by Denk
Related reviews: Inform
This game is the sequel to Risorgimento Represso. Though I have never played Risorgimento Represso, I enjoyed this game immensely.

In this game you play the role of a wizard's apprentice who has been given an apparently simple task by the wizard. Without spoiling the story, lets just say that the plot will develop as you play.

This is a rather long game with an impressive amount of detail and excellent implementation. The game contains an auto-mapping feature and a newspaper, where you can click to turn the pages.

There are a lot of ingenious puzzles in the game, some easy, others more tricky, but except from one puzzle ((Spoiler - click to show)how to use the hoop) I was able to solve them all without the use of the built-in hint system, where you can ask NPCs for help. So I regard the puzzles as very fair and well clued.

The writing is good and witty, and did a great job in communicating the surroundings. There are several references to Risorgimento Represso, but they are all understandable to those who haven't played it.

This is the best game I have played this year so far, so I highly recommend it.

Leadlight, by Wade Clarke

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Easy to install, fun to play, April 9, 2018
by Denk
Related reviews: Eamon
This is a horror game with rpg elements including random combat. And it is a good one. There are lots of puzzles but they are all sensible, and the atmosphere is scary. The game comes with a very detailed user manual and hint sheet so you should be able to get through. Regarding combat, the game was fair, though I had to die a lot before choosing the right strategy. I did have some trouble near the end though, where multiple enemies were present at the same time. As a result I ended up with very few hitpoints left for the final battle, and so I had to save and restore a lot during that final battle. Despite that, it was a very good game with scary horror sequences.

About running the game:(Spoiler - click to show) I had feared that I would have to play around with emulator settings etc. to get the game working, but all I had to do was to download the windows version and double-click on an icon. Then the game was up and running. I can imagine that the mac-version is just as easy to run.

Certainly recommended.

Curse of the Hellsblade, by John Nelson and Tom Zuchowski
Classic RPG online, March 20, 2018
by Denk
Related reviews: Eamon
I played this game online at Eamon Remastered where you can either play with your own character or a demo character.

This RPG is quite original in the sense that you are cursed with the sword Hellsblade, so that you attack all beings on your path with the sword, whether they are friends or foes. First you need to find a way to control the blade and later get rid of it, so that the world will be a safe place once again.

The game is a classic Eamon adventure, so there will be lots of interesting treasures and weapons to pick up, which you can then sell or use in other Eamon adventures. The game is very much about combat and exploring, finding keys, secret rooms and tunnels but there are also a few real puzzles included. Hints are included in case you get stuck.

The writing is good and the game is well designed. I have played a lot of Eamon games lately and this is one of the best I have tried so far. I can certainly recommend this.

A Runcible Cargo, by Thomas Ferguson

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Very enjoyable, March 15, 2018
by Denk
Related reviews: Eamon
The story of this game is minimal:
You are under siege by the Guild of Bandits, who are looking for an artifact called the 'Runcible Cargo'. You must either locate it and deliver it to the bandits, or else find a means of defeating them.

This is the first time I have played an Eamon adventure so I was expecting a rather outdated parser. Though it is not Inform, the parser was a lot better than I expected. Yes, the game runs in a little DOS-window but except from that, the game mechanics work rather well. Guess-the-verb is not an issue since a list of all recognized commands pops up if you type a word the game doesn't understand. I had one parser issue though to begin with, which relates to the way Eamon works: (Spoiler - click to show)If objects or NPCs are inside a container, e.g. a sword inside a locker, you must REMOVE SWORD to get it. Alternatively you can ATTACK LOCKER and subsequently pick everything up with GET ALL. After learning that, I had no parser problems at all.

The game is an RPG with puzzles. Thus expect some random combat. However, to begin with I picked a predefined character called Floyd the Barber (included in Eamon Deluxe which you need to install to play the game), so the fights were never a problem. And you will find food around to restore you health. More over you may find some NPCs who will assist you in your battles. The puzzles are quite easy too, except for the final puzzle which is a little tricky but optional unless you want the ideal ending.

After completing the game, I tried to create my own character from scratch. This resulted in a much tougher challenge where you have to be much more strategic, so you better use those five save slots carefully if you attempt this. Still I managed to complete the game again, though I died several times before I succeeded. Thus the difficulty level is very much dependent on which character you bring into the game. I am glad I started out with a predefined character so I could learn the game mechanics before attempting with my own weaker character. Note that characters can be transferred between Eamon adventures and so it is possible to improve a character and gain better weapons by playing some of the easier games first. I am glad though, that the game could be completed with a new character, which shows that the game is well designed.

To summarize, this is a very enjoyable game, especially due to the atmospheric descriptions, so I can certainly recommend this.

The Lurking Horror II: The Lurkening, by Ryan Veeder

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Excellent game!, February 25, 2018
by Denk
Related reviews: inform
Though I have never played The Lurking Horror, playing this unofficial sequel was really really fun. To my knowledge the concept is quite original: You have 9 moves to finish the game, before something bad happens. However, you need to play the game over and over to obtain the necessary knowledge needed to succeed.

The puzzles are great and are solved by casting spells. To begin with they are quite easy but later on they get a bit tricky. For my taste the difficulty level was just right.

The implementation seemed flawless and the atmosphere was fitting. I can't really say anything bad about this game, so I higly recommend this one.

The Wand, by Arthur DiBianca

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Two games in one, November 16, 2017
by Denk
Related reviews: inform
This was my favorite 2017 Ifcomp game. I don't see how to make a meaningful review of this one, without touching on the hidden content, which is more than half the game. If you cannot find the hidden content, check out David Welbourn's excellent walkthrough.

The Wand is a very polished puzzle-based text adventure, where the player seeks out a challenge at Bartholloco's secluded castle. The player is not allowed to touch anything in the castle, except from the wand, he/she is given at the beginning of the game. Luckily the wand is magical and can be set to 1000 different color combinations. The wand has different abilities depending on the chosen color combination. Unfortunately you do not know which combinations are useful, but clues to this are placed around the castle.

The apparent challenge of the game has a very nice level of difficulty and can be completed in approximately 2 hours. However, (Spoiler - click to show)if you restart and approach the game with your knowledge from your first play-through, you may find a much deeper and more involved challenge.

It is during this deeper challenge you will come to realize how well thought out the magic system actually is. Also, the ending of this deeper challenge is much better than that of the first challenge.


I don't think a pure puzzle game comes much better than this.


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