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SummaryThe first RPG running on DOS is a solid one.
The GoodThe Wizard's Castle is a pretty solid title. It's a well designed game, although not perfect, that shows that there was a big effort in making an interesting and replayable game.
The game starts with a simple introduction that helps to set up the atmosphere. Many early RPGs didn't have a story and you would just start the game in the middle of a dungeon with no specific purpose. Having a plot - even a simple one - is way better than having none.
The gameplay is simple and straightforward but the game is rather complex, as it has many of the features present in modern RPGs: character customization, game map, many items like weapons, armors and magical objects, lots of enemies, a lamp and flares, spells and vendors to trade with. It's a very rich world for a game this old.
The text parser is easy to use and has some funny replies to your commands, without getting annoying. Usually you only have to type one letter to perform actions, like O to open, N to go north and L to use your lamp.
The BadI said The Wizard's Castle isn't perfect, but it's mostly because of the technology. It's a text mode game so the map is a bit confusing. Also, due to the resolution, the map is not always visible. You must press M to see it and then return to the game's input interface. You find yourself pressing M a lot to remember where you are and what's around you. Also, the map's legend is on the help screen (H). So until you memorize it, you keep cycling the map and the help screen most of the time.
There's no character evolution due to experience. There are some spell books and water pools that can change your character - for better or for worse - and that's it. An experience system is crucial on any RPG.
Finally, the enemies are static. They don't move around, staying always on the same map square. As long as you can use the map (if there is light and you're not blind - yes this can happen) you can avoid them.