User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

Spellbreaker (Atari ST)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  kemmysunshine (12)
Written on  :  Jan 02, 2004
Platform  :  Atari ST
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Summary

The Absolute Pinnacle of Text Adventuring

The Good

This was the third game in the Enchanter Series and followed on from the beguiling but relatively simple games:Enchanter and Sorcerer. From the word go this game took no prisoners . You found yourself stuck in a five room (roughly) area, you carried very little of any use and there was virtually nothing to pick up. Each of these areas contained an "impassable" blockage and none of the blockages responded to anything you were carrying. What a stinker of an opening. With your limited knowledge of magic and an excellent text parser you had to make a giant Ouroboros (a mythical symbol of a snake devouring its own tail) consume itself to open up an underground path behind it. The logic of this game was exceptionally harsh but always fair. Your had to continually draw maps and charts to solve puzzles. In a world of failing magic your main advantage was becoming next to useless for puzzle solving. Your fireballs became mere sparks and your strategies had to adjust to such sudden spell failure. I remember riding around on the back of living but exploding rocks, playing a warped game of nine-mens-morris, with a particular fondness.The sheer imagination within this game combined with the breathtaking prose of Dave Lebling (who I personally reckon wrote the best infocom adventures) and the amazingly flexible text parser made this game an absolute classic...

The Bad

Initially I hated the fact that this game was so damn hard. On release this game was overshadowed by the so-called pictorial splendour of "The Pawn" and adding this to Spellbreakers difficulty gave you a superb game that went unplayed by most. It was absolutely evil and unforgiving at times, but any failure would eventually prove to be yours alone . Frustratingly difficult, seemingly obtuse and unwelcoming to the novice.

The Bottom Line

Unfalteringly challenging but joyous because of that very fact. In a world of falling game difficulty levels this is one for the seasoned veteran or at least the very brave. Seek it out and be very afraid.