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8 Stars IFReview Rating Idol of the Incas

IFReviewed by Tom Zuchowski on 2006-05-14 10:20 

Game Profile

Author
Clyde Easterday

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Eamon

Release Year
1997

IFR Overall Rating
8 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator

MAIN PGM Version: 7.1

Extra Commands: JUMP, HELP, THROW

Deleted Commands: WEAR

Special Features: "Arcade game" action at end of game Playing Time: 2-4 hours

Reviewer Rating: 8.0

Description: "In the Incan writings of a time forgotten by all but a few, there exists a priceless and beautiful idol, known as the 'Idol of the Incas', which has never been found. Many explorers have tried to discover the legendary 'Path of Adventure', to where the idol was kept in the days of the Incas.

"There is legend that all who have taken this 'Path of Adventure' have never returned. Some say the idol is cursed, and that all who have found the idol and tried to remove it have died. Many well-known explorers have gone before you and never returned. In times past you have traveled to the ends of the Earth with some of the most famous adventurers, but taking this 'Path of Adventure' may be the most dangerous and rewarding adventure you have ever taken.

"You have climbed high in the Peruvian mountains to get to the once-lost Incan city of Machu Picchu, to find the 'Idol of the Incas'."

Comment: This Eamon is very reminiscent of the "Indiana Jones" movies, with you of course in the role of Indy. It does a very good job of conveying the ambience of exploring a lost and dangerous ruin.

This is a puzzler's Eamon. There is so little combat that you are very unlikely to need the HEAL spell at all! But there is something to take note of or solve in every second or third room of movement. Clyde makes very heavy use of embedded artifacts to conceal parts of the puzzles in plain view. If you've played my own "Thror's Ring", then you will have a good idea of the kind of puzzling in store for you here.

At the same time, this is a very forgiving play. It's darned near impossible to get killed here; you just get stopped from further progress until you find your way past whatever is stopping you. Yet, while stopping your progress, the text of the play encourages a state of high anxiety and danger where the plot requires it. You'll have a great time if you buy into the story line.

The HELP command gives players a boost by way of some heavy hinting about some crucial puzzle elements. If you're a hard-core gamer, you will have a lot more fun if you ignore that command altogether and work to solve the puzzles the old-fashioned way. And those who get bored by too much puzzling can use this command to keep things moving at a pace more to their liking.

A hint: Never forget that artifact descriptions may themselves contain words that lead to other artifacts. And here's a go-faster: the Eamon 7.x PUT command does not require you to be holding the object; it can also be in the room.

At the very end there is a little arcade-game action loosely based on the mine cart ride in "Temple of Doom". It makes clever use of the text screen and is an amusing novelty. A lot of effort went into making sure it would work right at any CPU speed.

Difficulty of (8), I think. The actual difficulty will vary according to how good you are at Eamon puzzling and how much you make use of the HELP command.

Good play. Great atmosphere. Highly recommended for puzzlers, but Hack'n'slasher fans will find it less well suited to their action appetite.

Used with Matthew Clark's kind permition.
Original review available at Eamon Adventurer's Guild Online website.

    Tom Zuchowski Profile

    Name Tom Zuchowski
    Gender Male

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