Written by  :  Pix (1205)
Written on  :  Jun 05, 2008
Platform  :  Apple II
Rating  :  2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars

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The start of the Ultima series - fun while it lasts but a fairly basic game even at the time.

The Good

This is the game that started the Ultima bandwagon rolling, even if it doesn't carry the name. Its hard to review a game this old in a modern context but I'll give it a go. The game is extremely simple - most of the time is spent navigating around a 3D maze fighting monsters. Lord British gives you a sequence of quests where you have to delve into these mazes and kill a particular creature. Once you complete about four of these quests he makes you a knight and the game is over. You can complete the game in about 30 minutes if you know what you are doing.

The Bad

The graphics may have been OK at the time but they are beyond extremely basic these days. Everything is made up from straight white lines - there isn't a hint of colour or a rounded edge anywhere. There also isn't any sound to speak of.

The mazes are randomly created so they don't always make much sense or have an up ladder connected to a down one. Once you've started they are all exactly the same every time though, including the positions of the monsters.

Finally, the way to win the game is just to keep using the magic amulet, and repeatedly turn into a lizard man (every time doubles your stats). If you tried to play it without doing this exploit, the game would be nigh on impossible.

The Bottom Line

Despite the age, this game is still a fun enough way to while away half an hour while it lasts. It would be long forgotten were it not linked to the Ultima saga but for a game written by a student in his spare time and not intended for commercial release it holds up pretty well. Its a lot better than Escape From Mount Drash which followed several years later.