IFReviewed by Tom Zuchowski on 2006-05-13 10:20
MAIN PGM Version: 6 (heavily modified)
Extra Commands: SWITCH, USE, WAIT, PLAY, ENTER, RESUME
Deleted Commands: TAKE, BLAST, HELP, POWER, SPEED, WAVE
Special Features: musical instruments; can READY artifacts in either or both hands; 2-game SAVE; can RESUME a saved game at any time; uses a special character; reusable containers
Playing Time: 2-5 hours
Reviewer Rating: 8.5
Description: You were orphaned at an early age, and were taken under the wing of the village Bard, who taught you wonderful stories and gave you musical instruments, and taught you how to play spells on them. The Bard was a powerful musical magician who often aided the King's men. He braved many dangers but was finally killed by the evil Kroger. Enraged, you set out to avenge his death, though you were but a small boy. Kroger's men captured you, took your instruments, and laughed as they sent you away.
Six years have passed, and one day you overhear two of Kroger's men talking in a tavern. One of them mentions where each of your magical instruments was cached. Older now, but still desiring revenge, you resolve to recover your instruments and kill Kroger.
Comment: Sam Just keeps cranking out Eamons with amazing detail and overall high quality. The feature of readying artifacts in either hand is novel and makes this Eamon special. For example, you need to READY a torch in order to light it, but you will want to carry it readied in your left hand in order to keep your sword ready in your right. Sam adds realism to the player's inventory by severly limiting the number of items that can be carried loosely but adding a backpack, pocket, and scabbard to store things in. The musical instrument spells are another new feature in Eamon, and are well executed. Besides the new commands, many of the old ones were extensively reworked to accommodate new features; the commands are well explained in the introduction, and the command descriptions can be dumped to a printer if desired.
As usual, Sam's puzzles are tight, tough, and often fatal. To compensate for this, two simultaneous SAVEs are allowed, and either can be RESUMEd at any time during play, or after a fatal move. There are approximately a half-dozen major puzzles, and they are good ones, new to Eamon, and made up of lesser puzzles.
The player's character is not used but is returned unharmed to the Main Hall. Instead, Sam supplies a 'boy' character to be used that has exactly the qualities and abilities that are described in the introduction. There is a fair amount of dangerous combat, but it involves semi-random denizens of the forest; the puzzles can NOT be bulldozed past using brute strength, but must be solved.
Puzzle fanciers will love this one. Fans of Sam's work will be well entertained by the detailed story and special stuff. Fans of the 'Hack&Slash' genre and those who enjoy using a super-character to smash all opposition will be disappointed. I give it a (9) for difficulty, because of puzzle difficulty and the good chance that wrong choices will be fatal.