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A band of marauding trolls have destroyed the town of Crobe, providing you with an excuse to go on a treasure hunt in the caves where they live. Two-word parser with a limited command set (in particular, there's no "examine" verb), much magic wordage, some very clever and very tough puzzles - just getting into the cave is a major sticking point, and not only is it possible to lock yourself out of victory without realizing it, but sometimes you can be awarded points for doing so. Does novel things with the familiar maze-of-twisty-little-passages motif. Pretty darned good, as classical treasure hunts go.
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
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Number of Reviews: 1
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:Surprisingly good, September 12, 2008
by Peter Pears (Lisbon, Portugal)Sparse descriptions. Two word parser. Carrying limit. Very easy to enter an unwinnable situation with no warning. By all rights I should not like this game.
So why did I have so much fun just five rooms into the game, when I was mapping it?
Modern games work alongside the player, nudging him along, helping him get through to the end without dying or failing (though of course the player is free to make blundering mistakes). These older games do not. These older games are challenges to be conquered. You have to juggle inventory. You have to figure out room-specific commands from a ridiculously terse description (but it does give you all the information you need...). You have to brute-force combinations (at least I did, at one point). At one point you have to map an insane maze while at the same time carrying out instructions from a devilish little imp, and failure to do so will result in instant death.
Even worse, when you die you're asked whether you want to restart, and if you say no the game just quits. If you say yes, the game asks you if you'd like the backstory again. You say no. And only *then* can you restore a game. "Undo" is obviously right out.
But the game is fair, in its way. It makes sense. It does reward. The puzzles are satisfying to solve. The Bedlam maze, for instance, has more rooms than the objects you can carry, so at first it might seem impossible to map, but there's a workaround... and when you figure it out you get this sense of having beaten the game at it's own, er, game.
Yes, make no mistake - this game won't help you out. This game is set out to foil your attempts. You'll have to beat it in the true sense of the word. And when you do, you'll bask in the warm glow of a job well done.
For fairness' sake, I must say I didn't finish it. The frog maze is easy if you get the trick; the bedlam maze is a challenge which I undertook gladly and from which I emerged victorious. But a maze in which my movement causes cave-ins collapsing passages, and in which are more items than I can carry at any given time? At this point I gave up.
If the above paragraph turns you off, you might as well skip this one. But if you like that challenge, then this is a game for you. Be prepared to map extensively and keep good track of what you left where - and what you gave to the wizard for safe-keeping.
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