🐳 Featured Group: Gameplay feature: Auto-mapping

Stonekeep

Moby ID: 1876

[ All ] [ DOS ] [ Macintosh ] [ Windows ]

Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 82% (based on 23 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 58 ratings with 4 reviews)

A fun dungeon crawl with great sound, decent graphics, and a pretty good storyline.

The Good
It's basically a dungeon crawl, but there's a lot to it that make it engaging. The sound is great... everything has sound from footsteps, to swinging swords, to doors opening, to eating and drinking. The graphics are not too shabby, and the display is full-screen (with minimal game-mechanics interference). The story is fun, and it develops much more fully as you progress into the game.

I also liked the way magic was handled. Instead of your character having spell points or mana, spells are cast through "runecasters" which themselves have a mana charge. The runecasters have different numbers of open "slots", each one of which holds a spell to be cast. There are locations called "mana circles" that recharge the runecasters, so the need to wait as mana or spell points gradually return is eliminated.

The Bad
Perhaps the most annoying aspect of the game is the way items are handled. Items may be located anywhere on the floor of the map square you're standing in, and at times this deteriorates to a "find the pixel" game to locate an item. Smaller items can be hard to see, especially if hidden behind a corpse, a table, or a pile of garbage.

Once you pick up an item, it is stored on a magic scroll... from top to bottom and one-dimensionally. After playing for a while, the scroll gets quite long and it can be difficult to move through the entire thing quickly to find the item you want. Also, like items can be stacked on top of each other, so if you have 3 daggers only one picture of a dagger is shown. This is nice, except if you decide to re-arrange your inventory you have to move the items one at a time. So if you have 50 healing herbs, you have to relocate each one, one at a time. This gets a bit tedious.

Finally, there are still a few technical bugs, even in the most recently-released version (v1.2), that hinder gameplay. Two I have found that annoy me personally are: one of the NPCs (Wahookah) doesn't "appear" every time that he should -- on occasion you need to give him items for clues, but you can't if he's not there; and sometimes when I save the game, there's a hardware I/O error and the savegame is lost (so use 2 or 3 slots and rotate them for game saving... the first time I played I used only one slot, and was quite despondent when all the time I had put in was wiped out).

The Bottom Line
Though not one of the more popular RPGs, I feel it's certainly worth playing. Full stereo sound and music, very good graphics, and a non-cluttered interface really allow you to get "into" the game. Try playing it at night with the lights off, and you'll see what I mean!

DOS · by Mirrorshades2k (274) · 2001

A Dungeon Crawl through a castle cursed by a dark god reborn, and an unlikely hero...

The Good
Firstly, while it makes no attempt to be anything other than a dungeon crawl, it has some extremely interesting and amusing characters. The drunken orc on the first level, Wahooka The Great (or, if you prefer, The Great Wahooka), the Ettin, Khul-Kuum himself, and the various gods that you have to rescue. Combat is quite simple, as is the interface generally, a blessing that, considering your need for quick action in many situations, players should be most grateful for.

The Bad
The puzzles in some cases relied on what is generally known as "pixel-hunting", and very often the items you needed were obscured (a good example of this is a level where an object you are looking for is obscured.This object is, unless you do a pixel hunt, completely invisible). Indeed, many of the solutions to the puzzles are themselves either incomprehensible or invisible. This game was, in a single sentence, a bit frustrating in parts.

The Bottom Line
A dungeon crawl through a cursed castle looking for gods imprisoned by the most evil of their own number. I would also add that the plot, and indeed the justification for the main character, is highly amusing, not to mention cheesy as anything. Finally, I would say that, if you like dungeon crawling, bizarre goblins with more ego than most politicians, and an evil god that sounds like Darth Vader after he bought an asthma pump, this is definitely the game for you. It was for me!

DOS · by Jamie Durbin (2) · 2003

An epic adventure through the castle of Stonekeep and what lies beyond

The Good
-The Storyline is excellent -The game play is great -The size, it lasts ages

The Bad
-There could have been a better variety of weapons and armour

The Bottom Line
In this game you are drake risking your life to free thera (a goddess) and defeat Khull-Khuum (the evil guy). On your way you will have to kill hundreds of Khull-Khuum minions and also save the other gods from Khull-Khuum's wrath!

If you like retro RPG's like the Lands of Lore and Eye of the Beholder seires this game is for you.

DOS · by DOS2DEF (1) · 2007

Released over 10 years past its time.

The Good
I could say "nothing," but I am a generous soul, so I will find some nice things to say. The stereo sound is quite good, almost immersive at times. I didn't really experience any technical problems or bugs. I actually got a laugh out of the introductory video sequence. Finally, Stonekeep does make you appreciate just about every other RPG by comparison.

The Bad
Everything else. This game was in development for 5 years, and it shows. The graphics are cheesy and dated. Your character stutters around in increments rather than smoothly, so you don't get the feeling of really being there like you might in a game like Daggerfall. The main problem isn't programming or design, though, but the game's very concept. A novel was included with the original game, which sounds like a nice bonus until you realize that it isn't a bonus. That's because there isn't any story to speak of in the game itself; you're in the keep, you hack up enemies, the end. There is not only no story, but also no real role-playing, no adventure, and not very much action. So what do you have? A terribly disappointing dungeon hack.

The Bottom Line
It's hard to believe this game was developed by the people who gave us classics like The Bard's Tale and Wasteland. Stonekeep pales even in comparison to those games that came a full decade earlier.

DOS · by PCGamer77 (3158) · 2012

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Bozzly, Scaryfun, Havoc Crow, Paul Franzen, Sun King, Jeanne, Wizo, jean-louis, Utritum, Dae, Alaedrain, Patrick Bregger, Cantillon, Tim Janssen, Parf, DSFC.