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10 Stars IFReview Rating Assault on Dolni Keep

IFReviewed by Pat Hurst on 2005-05-06 09:52 

Game Profile

Author
Tom Zuchowski

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Eamon

Release Year
1987

IFR Overall Rating
10 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator

Reviewerís Rating: 10

Difficulty Rating: 6

Extra Commands: REQUEST, INFO

Deled Commands: TAKE, BLAST, HEAL, POWER, SPEED, WAVE, SAY, READ

Special Features: 40/80 column capability, extra file containing notes and hints for the adventure, fast start feature, comments by adventuring companions, multiple saves possible.

Playing Time: 30 minutes - 2 hours

Description: You have been sought out to aid your two friends (from Throrís Ring, #114), Gorim the Dwarf and Galehir the Wood Elf, in the rescue of the High-Elf, Fromir. Fromirís wisdom is a vital asset to the forces of good in Middle-earth, but he has been seized by Orcs and imprisoned in Dolni Keep. Storming the keep would insure the quick demise of Fromir, but a small group might be able to penetrate the keep and affect the rescue. Gorim is going because the keep is of Dwarven construction. Galehir is going because the rescue of an Elf warrants an Elven representative. You are invited to join because the expedition needs a salty adventurer experienced in arms.

Comment: Despite the fact that this adventure has a small number of rooms, uniform monsters (orcs), and a reduced command list, it is a real treat to play. A consistent theme is developed and adhered to throughout. This is not a hack-and-slash adventure but a realistic treatment of the rescue theme. It plays more realistically then most Eamon adventures. The player is an actor in the flow of events rather than the agent who determines everything that happens. Thus, the adventure can be undertaken by an inexperienced character as well as an experienced one with almost equal chances of success. The experienced player must always bear in mind the ultimate purpose of the foray and sublimate the usual Eamon instincts to plunder and kill that he has probably nurtured through his previous adventuring.

The descriptions are well done and lend a feeling of action to the adventure. Itís almost a pleasure to go astray occasionally to see how well the author has covered all the bases. Your com[anions offer comments which add an extra touch of realism and imbue them with a personality not usually accorded to non-player characters. You may check their health, inventory the items they are carrying, or request objects from them. They each have special skills and the ability to switch weapons in combat. For example, Galehir carries spare bowstrings in case one should break in combat.

The adventure can be displayed in either 40 or 80 columns and is compatible with several 80-column cards, Videx or Apple //e compatible. There is a fast start feature which loads the initial status of variables and parameters in much the same way as restoring a saved game. This significantly reduces start-up time. The NOTES-COMMENTS-HINTS files discusses some of the specially programming and how it is designed. In addition this file lists adventure hints in chronological order so that they player can get help without revealing more the adventure then necessary.

Overall it is an excellent adventure with several innovations which greatly improve playability. The MAIN PGM (similar to that of Throrís Ring) marks a radical departure from the standard one and warrants some study by prospective Eamon adventure designers.

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

    Pat Hurst Profile

    Name Pat Hurst
    Gender Male