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6 Stars IFReview Rating The Land of Death

IFReviewed by Tom Zuchowski on 2006-05-06 09:10 

Game Profile

Author
Tim Berge

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Eamon

Release Year
1984

IFR Overall Rating
6 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator

MAIN PGM Version: 4

Extra Commands: GLASNAR, ALTAR

Deleted Commands: None

Special Features: None

Playing Time: 1-2 hours

Reviewer Rating: 6.0

Description: In the distance you see a huge obelisk which the Night Marshall says is 'the Pillar of Time'. "Many people," he says, "have come this route never to return. Good Luck." Slowly, he turns and leaves.

Turning towards the east, walking, you soon find yourself before a huge fifty meter obelisk. As you draw close to it you see an inscription.

HAIL ALL THOSE WHO COME THIS WAY. WOE BE THOSE WHO SPEAK THE ANCIENT WORDS AND DESECRATE THIS MOST HONORED SHRINE. LO THE PROPHET OF TIME, JOHN COOPER, HAS SPOKEN!!!

Casually you turn to leave even as you hear a voice say "Cooper's Revenge is upon you...foolish mortal!!!"

Comment: There is some more to the introduction, but it has very little to do with the play. Basically, you find yourself in a rather odd city with overhead railroads, magical mists, and lots of cryptically inscribed obelisks. The basic thrust of this adventure is to explore the city and find a way back to the Main Hall.

The city is loaded with fascinating objects and clues and seems to promise a lot a interesting puzzles and special effects. Every few rooms you run across yet another inscribed obelisk with passages like this one: "THAT WHICH IS SEALED IN CRYSTAL CONTAINS THE POWER TO RELEASE THE FROZEN." Unfortunately, nearly all of it is fluff-- "color" and "atmosphere" pieces that actually have nothing to do with solving the adventure. At least, if more puzzles existed, I couldn't find them and didn't need them for anything. There is no indication of success or failure at the end of the game, so I conclude that the only true objective is escape.

Even so, the atmosphere is well done and interesting to read. It fails on two counts: first, it has dozens and dozens of stupid spelling errors. The extra command ALTAR, for example, is really "alter". The second, and in my opinion much more damaging failing is that it has about a half-dozen death traps.

I give it a difficulty rating of (6). While there is very little that is actually challenging, the map is pretty complex and the death traps do offer minimal warning once you have fallen into one and know what they are. I feel that it is worth playing for the interesting descriptions and map, but there is little combat and only one puzzle.

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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