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Knight Orc is an important release for Level 9. There is no doubt that it takes time to get used to, and there is a strong lack of direction in the game's early stages. Most committed players will not rest until they have cracked it, but how many stick it out to the end without recourse to hint sheet or psychiatric help is another matter.
With the game comes a 36-page manual containing full instructions, and a novella. I can usually take or leave a novella. So often they consist of so much contrived drivel to lend a degree of credibility to the game plot. But The Sign of the Orc is really amusing, and is a good read in its own right. It really is useful, too, for the game starts where the story ends, and so you feel you know many of the characters when you start playing. Here is an adventure that is like nothing you've ever played before.
Schade um die wirklich tolle Handlung, denn bei Knight Orc wimmelt es nur so von technischen Unzulänglichkeiten. Brilliant gelöst wurde die Sache mit den über 70 verschiedenen Personen, die unterschiedliche Verhaltensweisen zeigen und denen man Befehle erteilen kann. Doch hier traten schon die ersten Haken auf. Frage ich eine Person nach einem Gegenstand, dann erhalte ich immer exakt denselben Text, den ich auch mit "Exanime Gegenstand" bekommen hätte. Außerdem erschien mit der Parser überqualifiziert. Er versteht zwar die tollsten Kommandos, doch wenn ich ganz einfache, logische Sätze eingebe, muß er recht oft passen. Von den digitalisierten Bildern halte ich auch nicht viel, denn die sehen teilweise sogar recht scheußlich aus. Aber trotzdem: Handlung und Puzzles sind toll, und deswegen bekommt Knight Orc noch eine ordentliche Bewertung von mir.
Fazit: Ein solides konventionelles Adventure im Stil von PAWN und GUILD OF THIEVES.
The puzzles are too uneven. Part one can be finished off in an afternoon, while some puzzles in part two will take that long even if you have the hint sheet! When random bad luck can spoil a well thought out solution, it's hard to be sure if you're on the right trail. On the other hand, this game has the best parser I've seen in a while. Special options (available on the more powerful computers) speed the game along. The "oops" command returns you to where you were before the last move (you can keep using this command and move backwards through the game!). RAM save makes life easier, but with the "oops" command, it's almost redundant. Overall, the game rates a strong recommendation. While it has negative points, it is certainly above average.