The Demon's Forge

Moby ID: 1795
Apple II Specs

Description official descriptions

For killing four palace guards, the king has banished you to the caverns of Demon's Forge. Now you must fight to stay alive and to find the exit with your life! No prisoner has ever found the exit or exited Demon's Forge! Being the greatest gladiator to ever serve the king, you may just have a chance to escape. Maybe.

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Average score: 2.4 out of 5 (based on 21 ratings with 4 reviews)

Basic text adventure with the added bonus of graphics.

The Good
I first played the IBM version. Was suprised at the depth of the CGA graphics. Very much like a zork game.

The Bad
There was limited graphics. The commodore version on the flip side of the disk looked much better.

The Bottom Line
Take an old text adventure and add a couple pics to it and this is what you get.

PC Booter · by gametrader (208) · 2000

Not bad, just misunderstood.

The Good
I've gotta say, I'm tired of continually seeing this game listed in Moby's bottom ten.

In order to appreciate Demon's Forge, you have to understand it. This game was first written for the Apple II back in 1981 and published by a little-known company called Saber Software. Somewhere along the way, Mastertronic acquired the rights to it, and released the PC conversion in 1987 as a budget game. By which time it was thoroughly dated. But taken by early- rather than late-80s standards it's a decent two-word text/graphic adventure, one I had a lot of fun with when it first came out. There are a number of clever riddles and puzzles, and some humorous bits thrown in. And it's an interesting historical title, being Brian Fargo's first released game. Oh, and the box art is classic.

The Bad
Well, it does have it share of guesswork puzzles and unfair foresight required. And the game does tend to be broken down into several somewhat linear segments. But considering its age that's forgivable.

The Bottom Line
Lay off this one, okay? Demon's Forge looks primitive because it was written more than 20 years ago, not because it's a lousy game. Think of all the big expensive modern projects, with huge teams and budgets involved, that have turned out as complete messes, and I think you'll find that this one is dwarfed in comparison.

PC Booter · by Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe (1674) · 2003

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.

PC Booter · by Halmanator (598) · 2003

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Will D.

Apple II added by Orfikus.

Additional contributors: Servo.

Game added June 26, 2000. Last modified February 22, 2024.