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

The Magic Candle: Volume 1 (DOS)

...
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Will Myers (3)
Written on  :  Jul 25, 2008
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by Will Myers
read more reviews for this game

Summary

Huge game needs a big notebook

The Good

The mechanics are novel (for the time) and very well balanced. When picking your companions, you can choose between fighting specialists, tradesmen who can fight and earn money in towns, and magic users. Most skills can be trained up either by use or by trainers in towns

The overall plot, "fix the magic candle imprisoning a demon before it melts", is fairly sparse, but that sparseness allowed the designers to create the most open ended game I've ever played. It makes Fallout look like railroad storytelling and Morrowind look like a tiny island. There are side quests and sub-quests galore and when (or if) you take them is mostly up to how much time you have left. Do you speed to the second castle for the more powerful companions, or do you spend a year(!) earning money and training your companions before you even set out on the quest?

The Bad

The game is so huge, you will not be able to finish without a notebook full of notes: names of people, names of places, things to talk about, teleport codes, secret words, and magic spells. There is a huge amount of content to keep track of and you have to write it all down yourself because you'll have to type it back in at some point.

Also, don't expect great literature. They could only fit about 15 words at a time on the screen, so all the NPCs seem a little surly in their short responses.

Did I mention the HUGE aspect? This is not the 10-20 hours of gameplay we get nowadays. This is 100+ hours of gameplay. If you don't have that kind of patience, stay away.

The Bottom Line

A massive, Ultima-style RPG with good mechanics and tons of exploration.