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Monsters of Murdac

by Jonathan Partington

Fantasy
1982

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- shornet (Bucharest), March 23, 2014

Baf's Guide


Regarding its overall concept, this game is very similar to Zork, except it's playing in a lower league - being smaller in size, and having a weaker parser, terser descriptions, and much less versatile characters. One good aspect of Monsters of Murdac is its hint system (you have got to download the game "feelies" available at the IF-Archive to be able to use it). On the other hand, I thought one couldn't do without the hints to win, because at least 30% of the puzzles were quite obscure (at least to my taste), and the whole thing was anything but fair (one illustration: at the very beginning (which effectively means - from the very first move), the player has got to solve a tightly timed puzzle crucial for his further progress, not even being told there's a problem to deal with). And, as with the vast majority of old-school games, there's a maze (admitted, it's a slight variation of the standard, but it still requires being mapped out). The aforementioned accompanying materials, as well as the intro to the game, hint at a fancy story, but these promises remain unfulfilled. In spite of all these flaws, I can't say I'm regretting the time spent on Murdac - some puzzles were fun, and, being a former commercial game, it's very well polished and thoroughly tested. Plus (although that's not applicable to me), it possesses a certain nostalgic value. Still, if puzzles aren't your main attraction in text adventures, you'd better try something else.

-- Valentine Kopteltsev

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