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Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor (Windows)

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2.4
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Written by  :  Jacques Guy (55)
Written on  :  Oct 06, 2004
Rating  :  0.43 Stars0.43 Stars0.43 Stars0.43 Stars0.43 Stars

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Summary

Unplayable

The Good

er...

The Bad

Having thus dealt with "The Good", let me turn to "The Bad".

Recommended system requirements are a Pentium III 500MHz, 128M of RAM, an 8x CD-ROM. I have an AMD XP2000, 256M of RAM, a 64M Nvidia GeForce graphics card, and, like everyone else nowadays, a 52x CD-ROM. I had at first done a medium-size installation (845M). My hard disk kept thrashing, its red light on for minutes on end, getting nowhere, the mouse pointer dead and frozen. Once in a blue moon the mouse would wake up and allow me a click. Then more disk thrashing. Eventually I did a full install, which took so long that I was more than once tempted to abort it, so persuaded was I that it had frozen up. Eventually I could start playing. This time there was no disk thrashing. The CD-ROM did not seem to get accessed either.

Yet everything was sloooooow. Movement like wading through thick molasses. The mouse pointer hopping about, making weapon selection a nightmare of pixel hunting with your mouse never quite where you want it except by sheer luck. Right-click on a character. It opens up a microscopic menu. Think of it as a mini-arena where to hone your mouse-taming skills. I wonder what it would be like with the minimum system requirements: a Pentium II 400MHz with 64M of RAM.

And it's dark in there. There is no gamma-correction to adjust, so you just have to crank your monitor's brightness right up to its maximum to see anything much.

Inside dungeons you can usually tell your characters from the background, but in the open where the background is typically meadow and stuff with a more complex texture than flagstones, they blend with it.

Combat takes forever. With four heroes engaging a party of three orcs, count on half a minute for every round. The interface is at first incomprehensible. But once you've figured it out it becomes another exercise in pixel hunting and mouse taming, and waiting for your selected hero to act. When it is the orcs' turn you wonder what the dumb beasts are day-dreaming about. Hey, I'm here, right under your snouts! What are you waiting for to deal me that lethal blow?

The Bottom Line

I had thought that I had scraped the bottom of the barrel with "Dungeon Siege, Legends of Aranna". It appears that there are more barrels, each with a deep bottom. And this is one of them. It is unplayable and thus, in legalese, "not of merchantable quality". In plain English: if you have had the misfortune of paying good money for it, be it even as little as a few cents, you are entitled to return it and demand your money back.