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Reviews by Denk

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View this member's reviews by tag: ADRIFT 5 Eamon inform
1-6 of 6

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

1 of 1 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This is the first time I have played an Eamon adventure so I was expecting a rather outdated parser.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

4 of 4 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.

The Spectre of Castle Coris, by Larry Horsfield

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Great parser game with built-in map, August 2, 2016
by Denk
Related reviews: ADRIFT 5
The Spectre of Castle Coris is the sequel to the Axe of Kolt, and just as its predecessor it is a modern improvement of an old spectrum adventure. This time Alaric Blackmoon has to solve the mystery of a spectre, which terrorizes the town surrounding the castle Coris. The game can roughly be divided into two parts: First Alaric must gather whatever he needs in his quest outside the castle. Afterwards he must enter the castle and free the town of the evil spectre.

The game is rather big but contains a built-in map, which is well-structured and very convenient (except when playing online – download the game instead). There is a nice use of text colors, which gives life to the overall fine descriptions. The implementation is very good and rarely if ever is guess-the-verb an issue. Anyway a vocabulary command is implemented.

The puzzles range from easy to hard and the player must remember to examine and search everything as well as ask the right questions. Note that the game distinguishes between “ASK [person] ABOUT [topic]” and “ASK [person] FOR [object]”.

Overall, this is a highly enjoyable game, which just reaches the five-star mark.

The Axe of Kolt, by Larry Horsfield

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Huge fantasy game with built-in map., May 6, 2016
by Denk
Related reviews: ADRIFT 5
The Axe of Kolt is what text adventures is all about. Set in a standard fantasy setting with wizards, dwarfs, witches etc., the game is huge but divided into four parts so that it never become unmanageable. Though the built-in map cannot be attributed to the author (it is a standard feature of ADRIFT games), it adds significantly to the playability of such a large game, which boasts a little more than 200 locations. (NB: The online game does not provide the same map functionality as the downloadable versions.)

The writing does the job, creating an exciting atmosphere. The systematic use of text colors adds to this. The game is tough though. Everything should be examined and searched. The puzzles range from easy to hard, and most puzzles are fair, though there were one or two puzzles, which were a bit farfetched near the end. Luckily the implementation is good and there is a VOCAB command for each part, inspiring the player when stuck with a list of relevant verbs. If everything fails the player can send an e-mail to the author (provided when typing help). All in all, this game is a very rewarding experience and reaches the five star rating.

For anyone who likes puzzle-heavy old-school text adventures, this is highly recommended.

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