Solomon's Key for the NES was released in Japan on this day in 1986.

Pool of Radiance (NES)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.3
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Christopher Sutler (7)
Written on  :  Dec 21, 2004
Platform  :  NES
Rating  :  2.83 Stars2.83 Stars2.83 Stars2.83 Stars2.83 Stars
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Summary

A good adaptation of the computer game

The Good

Pool Of Radiance is based on the game made by SSI for personal computers. Although the graphics for the NES version are not as stunning and colorful, the gameplay is much the same as the computer game. The adventure unfolds as you complete the various quests, though not all of them are essential to your success, but you do gain treasure and experience as you complete these quests, which is vital to your success. Also, the battles are turn-based, giving you time to plan your strategy.

The Bad

One problem with the game is advancing in level. Unlike most RPGs, you can only advance in level at the Training Hall, and doing so costs a not insignificant amount of money (1,000 gold, to be precise), which can be a problem early on in the game when your party may be short on cash. Also, the game doesn't tell you when you can level up--if you don't have the game manual (which I didn't), you just have to ask to train and hope for the best.

Although the turn-based battle style is nice, the larger battles later in the game can be somewhat tedious, especially when your party gets confused/charmed/drained or what-have-you, and can only stand around and look cute while getting pummeled by monsters.

As mentioned before, the graphics are somewhat poor, seeming mostly to be in shades of olive green. We know even an 8-bit system can do better than that, but apparently the designers of this cart didn't. More color would have been helpful.

The Bottom Line

If you are interested in an epic RPG that is less battle-oriented than Final Fantasy, then this is a good choice. This game is more or less adventure/puzzle, with quite a few interesting plot twists. Not the highest-ranked game on the list, but better than most people give it credit for.