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After a few "dodgy" titles from Infocom recently, it is nice to see them back on course, with what is bound to be among their top selling titles.
Beyond Zork is a clever combination of an Infocom text adventure with a D&D type role playing game. I am not sure that the combination works well. Nevertheless, the game is a must for all Infocom fans (the name alone should ensure that) for it is better than a number of their titles, particularly some of the more recent ones.
One small drawback: the fact that you have a table of characteristics requiring constant vigilance keeps pulling you back from this land of magic and mystery to something more akin to the real world. It is hard to stay mentally in Quendor when a bar chart has to be carefully monitored to ensure survival. Having said that, I like this new style of game, the changes made to the Infocom format are neat and work very well. The inclusion of the role-playing elements add just a little more spice to the standard text adventure, and with that extra sprinkling of realism, Infocom are really cooking.
[Compilation re-release] An update on the original Zork story, this casts you as a peasant who must seek out the fabled treasure known as the Coconut of Quendor. The usual Zork rules apply generally, but here you can actually alter the attributes of your player before you begin, in a sort of RPG style. Unlike other Infocom games, Beyond displays a map which shows your immediate area.