IFReviewed by Tom Zuchowski on 2006-05-06 08:07
MAIN PGM Version: 4
Extra Commands: OPEN, SWALLOW
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: Hi-Res navigation, food
Playing Time: 30 min.
Reviewer Rating: 4.0
Average Rating: 3.0/2
Description: "You are trapped on an island. There is a wizard here who can teleport you home, but your gold and weapons cannot go with you. There is a castle to the north that supposedly has a passage home, but there are obstacles.
"As you explore the island, notice the large harbor to the east, and the mountains to the north-west. Beware of monsters and evil men, but know that there are also men good and true.
"A final word of warning--be sure that you are kept well supplied with food. Every day, you and your friends must eat three meals or they will slowly starve."
Comment: This Adventure is totally unique in the world of Eamon. It combines a high-res "overhead view" interface with four small standard Eamon-type dungeons. The hi-res interface was fairly common in the early days of the Apple II; one commercial game that used something very similar was the commercial game "Odyssey".
Make no mistake; this is not a great Eamon, and Bob Davis had good reason to give it a (2) rating when it was originally reviewed. But I like unusual Eamons and Eamons that push the envelope, and this is definitely one such. Thus I gave it a higher rating than it would otherwise deserve, because it truly is a unique Eamon gaming experience.
There are two major flaws. One is content so low that it is rather tedious to play, and becomes quite boring after a while. The other is that there is no way to exit with your weapons and gold except through use of the POWER spell, and that method will result in your death by drowning in 9 out of 10 tries. I am guessing that Don was working on this Eamon when he decided to go commercial, and that it was never fully completed as a result. Another indicator that it is unfinished is a cryptic hint from a wandering hermit that makes no sense to me and that I never found a use for, even after perusing the programs.
Here are the usual hints: you and each of your companions consume one unit of food for each turn taken in the hi-res mode. There are four entrances to be found on the hi-res map: the temple, the castle, and two unmarked ones. The only way to find the two unmarked entrances is by walking across every single point on the map until you stumble into them. This consumes a LOT of food, and thus I suggest that you start out with 3000 units of food. It really doesn't matter if you spend all of your money, because you don't want to return to the Main Hall from this game, unless you are happy to lose your weapons and gold!
Difficulty is hard to define. There is only a 1-in-10 shot at getting back to the Main Hall with your weapons and gold, so it earns and retains its (9) rating, even though actual play is simple and rates no more than a (3).
Used with Matthew Clark's kind permition.
Original review available at Eamon Adventurer's Guild Online website.