Dark Forest (Apple II)

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Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  zorkman (189)
Written on  :  Jan 24, 2016
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Summary

Original early strategic game

The Good

The game is very easy to get into, with clear instructions, & is controlled by single key presses. The graphics are clear & colourful, & in most part do what they need to. The AI plays according to the skill level chosen, & is more attacking at higher levels.

There are a variety of four different maps to play, & eight skill levels which means the game caters for players of different skills. This holds your interest longer, as you try to beat the game on a harder level & different map. The game allows six players, which means you can play against your friends for a more challenging game, with the AI taking over if there are less than six.

The Bad

The sound is quite limited with only beeps & other simple sounds when something happens. There is also a problem in seeing what is happening in the black forest areas, though this might be a problem with the emulator,

There are various random creatures available such as the Specter, Troll, & Serpent though I found them more of a nuisance than a benefit to the game. When they arrive in a province they block out how many troops are there for that go, & is irritating. You can ask for help from the magician on occasion, who will supply a boat or an extra man, but also can give the province sent from to the Grud's & all the men, which can lead to real problems.

Attacking a province gets more irritating as you progress as each side only loses at most a man each turn, & asks you whether you want to carry on or stop each time.

The Bottom Line

The game involves the players finding three treasures in the various six castle on each map, whilst at the same time you are fighting the Gruds & other Human players. Each game starts with you allocating your initial troops around the map, until all the provinces are allocated, & each player has one of the castles.

The game was most likely fun playing against friends, & holds your interest for awhile with the various maps & skill levels. The game gets harder on the higher levels, mostly by the AI receiving far more reinforcements than you, which is more unfair than skillful. In fairness, considering when the game came out, this was the only real way to keep interest going, & must have been quite impressive on release.

The game is original, though cannot say I have heard of it, although it comes form the well know Sirius Software. A later game with the same characters was released a couple of years later called Grud's in Space, & was a Graphic Adventure.

Certainly a quality game for the time, & is playable for a time in short bursts. Apple seemed to be the machine of original software at this time, & this is a game that deserves a look at least.