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Discworld (DOS)

100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  אולג 小奥 (168688)
Written on  :  Oct 02, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Ready for your patience test?

The Good

I must admit: I've never read any of those Terry Pratchett novels. So I know nothing about how this game relates to its prototype. It is possible that the knowledge of the original novel could have increased the enjoyment. But as a veteran player of adventure games, I doubt it.

It's a matter of taste, but I suppose some people might enjoy the sophisticated, dry humor of the game. For me, it didn't seem particularly funny. But there is a certain something in the whole weirdness of Discworld. Maybe somebody else would find it amusing.

"Discworld" has good production values. Nice graphics in semi-cartoon style of the mid-nineties, and relaxed, pleasant music. Some of the voice-overs were also well-done.

The Bad

I often read phrases such as "the puzzles were so tough I had to use a walkthrough" in reviews. Most of the time, we don't use walkthroughs because the puzzles are so tough, but because we are too lazy to solve them. However, the above phrase describes the gameplay of "Discworld" very well. It is hard to imagine someone who completed this game without a walkthrough and actually enjoyed it. The problem with the puzzles is not their pure difficulty level, but rather the complete absence of any logic involved in their solutions, and almost total lack of clues. The gameplay system here is completely chaotic. The puzzles are complicated just for the sake of complexity. You solve them because you use all your inventory items on all the objects you can interact with, and sometimes, you get lucky. Your thinking is not involved and not needed.

There is almost no sense of development, of achievement in the game; the abundance of locations, objects, and characters makes it almost impossible to find the right combination needed to solve a puzzle and to make progress in the game. All you can do is wander around aimlessly with an inflated inventory, listen to sophisticated conversations, and using every inventory item on every object.

All the characters seem to have the same desire of entering bizarre conversations full of difficult words and perverse logic. As I said, someone might find this funny. But I played many comedy adventures, and "Discworld" really didn't strike me as humorous. Personally, I'm not into this kind of humor. All the supposedly humorous remarks look very artificial. You really feel how they tried hard to make a remark sound funny. This humor comes from the head and not from the heart.

The story of "Discworld" is uninteresting, poorly implemented, and has almost no connection to the actual gameplay. The form of the game is much too square, most of the main quests involve tedious hunting for items. Time-traveling is a good idea, but it quickly becomes too complicated and obscure, and is used too much in the game.

The result is an almost total absence of something very important - feeling of being rewarded. You solve complicated puzzles and you get nothing for that. After a while, you begin to feel the whole thing has really no sense.

The Bottom Line

+ Looks pretty good
- Puzzles make no sense at all
- Aimless wandering around and backtracking
- Annoying dialogues
- No real story line

Are you patient enough to bear badly organized gameplay, illogical puzzles, endless conversations, and a thin story line? If so, you might give "Discworld" a try. Otherwise, forget this frustrating game and its very similar sequel, and turn your attention to the excellent Discworld Noir.