For those about to play RPG, we salute you....
On first glance, one could consider the game a rogue-like. It's what I thought as well, and acording to the manual, it's what it's supposed to be. However the game's designer labels it a CRPG, after the extensive modifications it undertook. For those unknowing, a CRPG (Computer/Console Role Playing Game) is a transposition of board game RPGs to a computer or console. A virtualization of Dungeons & Dragons would pretty much sum it up. The same rule system and concept applies, but interpreted and implemented differently from game to game. A small word of warning to harcore D&D fans, you might find some CRPG games, like this one, lacking depth.
It is turn based and overhead, with various posibilities and stats to develop. It's almost classic, going back to old school RPGs, with the basic 3-class combo Fighter/Mage/Rogue. A word of advice: don't try to mix classes too much, as it will be difficult to pass some puzzles. But the puzzles is where this game shines. There's no over complicated stat system (sorry D&D enthusiasts) or a grind-fest. No, this game's creamy filling is it's puzzles. Yes, this game focuses on non-linear puzzle-solving to advance quest plots. It works quite well too. It's subtle enough to be challenging, but fun enough to demand your attention. Gameplay is rather simplistic, other than a few special actions like picking locks, or magic. The only issue is figuring out what weapons/spells to use on certain monsters. Some spells are a bit annoying until you figure out what purpose they serve.
The story is simple, but makes up for it by not being a cliche. Your dad, the gambler died, and you have a debt to pay off. No sudden monster attacks, no mysterious cults or strange demons, just a simple debt. It's also fun to notice the alignment system that influences decisions, and once you reach level 20, you'll get a quest. Also, alignment can be changed so you may be able to do both quests.
The music is a wonderful midi ambiental soundtrack, which I swear I also heard somewhere else (later than DD1). It is used to good effect in certain locations, and adds a certain "theme" element which helps the immersion.
The graphics are, well...., old-school. Still, the sprites are rather well done. Although the small ammount of animation will seem annoying to some. Backgrounds are ok, nice and colourful, and range from meadows to graveyards, to swamps, to islands to ice. As a whole, this game is a good choice, whether you are a CRPG fan or not. It's a fun experience, non-linear, with many puzzles, quests and ideas. Although I can't guarantee it'll keep you entertained.
Review by: Razing32
Little blood, Swearing in one of the puzzles
Safe for ages: 13+