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Challenge of the Five Realms (DOS)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Subtitled Spellbound in the World of Nhagardia, this Microprose title came out the same year as their more popular work, Darklands. It is a top-down 256-color VGA role-playing game with a few unique twists.

As Prince of Alonia, the player controls a party of up to 10 (!) characters, battling the evil lord Grimnoth in a standard fantasy setting. The game features "Ultima-style" character generation, in which the player's answers to situational questions help determine the protagonist's character type (diplomat, warrior, thief, or wizard) and attributes. An immense number of skills and attributes, akin to that of Daggerfall, add variety to the gameplay, allowing puzzles to be solved in different ways. Dawdling endlessly in side quests to build up your party is not a good idea, as the player has 100 days to stop the encroaching Plague of Darkness, whose spread is shown graphically in the interface.

Under the "PAL system", characters not only have their own personalities (aggressive, cowardly), but will speak up and volunteer for tasks they are best-suited to perform (e.g., lockpicking, bribery).


Challenge of the Five Realms DOS The Five Kingdoms again -- which one will you travel to first?
Challenge of the Five Realms DOS Character generation menu
Challenge of the Five Realms DOS The map display shifts to full-screen during combat.
Challenge of the Five Realms DOS And if you want it spelled out for you, some crass numbers.

Alternate Titles

  • "Challenge of the Five Realms: Spellbound in the World of Nhagardia" -- Tag-lined title

User Reviews

A sleeper hit. Jeremy Johnson (638) 3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars
Nothing to write home about. Tiamat (18) unrated

The Press Says

PC Player (Germany) May, 1993 60 out of 100 60


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  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) –#14 Worst Back Story of All Time

S. Fleischauer (58) added Challenge of the Five Realms (DOS) on Jul 22, 2000