Written by  :  Halmanator (604)
Written on  :  Feb 09, 2003
Platform  :  PC Booter
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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It's not so bad if given a chance.

The Good

Perhaps I have a soft spot in my heart for this game because it's the first adventure game that I ever finished. It was also the first adventure game that I ever played that featured graphics. To be sure, the graphics were crude and blocky and, in hindsight, the mental pictures conjured up by the excellent textual prose in games such as "Zork" were far superior to the crude images with which "Demon's Forge" adorned my PC monitor but, still, graphics in an adventure game were a novelty at the time and the pictures kept me coming back. Besides, "Demon's Forge" was much less difficult than "Zork".

Most of the puzzles were also engaging. Their difficulty ranged from straightforward to challenging but their solutions were generally logical. There was even one puzzle which had a solution that I suspect the designers never intended (see "Tips and Tricks" for more info on this, as it contains a spoiler).

Humor is also used well. One of the game's rooms contains a shelf full of books. The player can read each and every book on the shelf by referring to its number ("Read Book 1", "Read Book 2", etc.) None of the books contain anything useful except for one, which turns out to be a story about a bitter old man who wasted away his life reading books.

Later on in the game, there is a long corridor. I mean a LONG corridor. It takes many "moves" to finally reach its end and the corridor is completely featureless and uninteresting throughout its entire length. Those stubborn players (like myself) who persevere rather than turning back in disgust, eventually find a decrepit old man awaiting them at the far end of the corridor. If the player talks to this old man, all he has to say is "Read any good books lately?"

The Bad

As I have already admitted, the graphics were unimpressive, although bearable given the available technology when the game was released in the early '80's. The parser was not as robust as "Zork's" nor was the prose as well-written.

The Bottom Line

While not a "classic", I found this adventure game to be engaging and enjoyable. Sure I've seen better, but I've also seen worse.