Written by  :  Chris Martin (1204)
Written on  :  Feb 23, 2000
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars
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An excellent Dungeon Master style game, that actually has very few dungeons.

The Good

Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos is a very fine tuned game. Cutscenes are done in animation with fairly decent voice-over work, and some incredible effects within the game itself.

The Graphics are truly remarkable. The game is similar to Dungeon Master and Eye of the Beholder, but the similarities end there. Instead of a Jolting step pattern (those playing the aforemention games know what I'm talking about), its a fairly fluid movement, and turning is fluid as well. Spell affects are very cool. Instead of happening on the window where the action is, the spell effects affect the entire screen. For instance, when a heal spell is cast, a glowing ball forms in the viewscreen, then travels to your character picture at the bottom of the screen. Instead of Dungeons, you explore swamps (with gas seepages... watch out with the fireballs), castles, towns, forests, mines, and other locales. Each location is unique, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. For instance, tar pits in the swamps can be frozen and then crossed before they thaw. Neat trick, eh?

Sound and Voice-Acting are par for the course considering the time of release. The clincher though is that Patrick Stewart provides the voice of King Richard, and that alone is worth grabbing the CD-ROM.

Gameplay is again par for the course. Inventory is handled very differently than most 3D Dungeon Crawls. Instead of each person having a separate inventory, there is one inventory for all characters that you come across. Makes handling inventory much easier, although not very realistic.

Magic spells are handled differently as well. Instead of picking and choosing your spells (a la D&D), you have spells available to you and the only thing that limits your capabiltiy of spellcasting is your level and your mana energy. Kinda tacky, but it works well within this game.

The Bad

There are a few things that peeve me about this game. One one thing that stands out is a pit that CAN'T BE CROSSED! Talk about aggravating! I have tried every trick I know to cross it with the aid of a trainer, and I still haven't figured out how.

The Bottom Line

If you like Dungeon Crawls, this one is a visual beauty. A great game (despite it's minor flaws).