Anvil of Dawn

DOS Specs [ all ]
(prices updated 9/30 1:57 AM )

Description official descriptions

Anvil of Dawn is a role-playing game featuring pseudo-3D dungeons similar to those of Eye of the Beholder, but with solo gameplay and action-oriented combat reminiscent of Ultima Underworld games. The player controls a single hero (can be chosen between two female, two male and one lizard character) on a quest to destroy an evil warlord. The dungeons lead the protagonist through varied places like castles or shipwrecks.

The game requires the hero to overcome two basic obstacles: combat and the exploration of maze-like dungeons with occasional puzzles (mostly based on switches and inventory items). During battles, the player simply needs to select a weapon or spell and click on the enemy to use it. This game doesn't use an experience point system but the "learning by doing" approach: using a skill automatically improves the protagonist's competence with it. Additional character development occurs by learning new spells (divided into earth, fire, water, wind, lightning, flesh and void disciplines), acquiring new equipment and drinking potions to permanently increase hit and magic points.

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Credits (DOS version)

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Average score: 74% (based on 16 ratings)


Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 25 ratings with 1 reviews)

A game that can probably captivate you for several days.

The Good
Quite a bit, actually.

  1. The music makes a great atmosphere.

  2. Graphics are probably better for the age of the game. Screen scrolls smoothly.

  3. No real money - there's no stock-piling or buying/trading equipment. Everything is found in the game, and there's only one guy I recall actually taking some gold coins that you find (there are altars throughout the game that require coins to get into, but it's just one coin per visit).

  4. The developers gave five different characters to start with (you can edit any of them to really tweak the character you want). If you play the entire game, you'll find all four of the "other" characters in the game. Very nice touch.

  5. Gameplay was fairly easy. No impossible combos to carry out, although on my 21" screen, scrolling across to grab the on-screen spell shortcuts - let alone scrolling down to other spells - could be difficult.

  6. Incorporation of stamina (no, the mage can't swing that greatsword forever - he'll induce penalties on himself).

  7. Ability to throw weapons. This was fun. I found myself swinging the greatsword at something, then whizzing it at them when I got tired, jump to inventory screen (paused - another bonus), and put on a lighter sword and shield combo.

    The Bad
    A tad long occasionally. Some very limited "find key open door" times. Required to carry items from beginning of game to end (taking up precious weight if you're a mage or weakling). Some odd bugs in the game. If you run into a boulder, you get hurt, but you can actually screw up the boulder and have it kind of stand still. It really sucks when that boulder is supposed to be rolling around and over some trip plates, which opens doors. Now it can't.

    The Bottom Line
    Highly underrated. It's simple enough to enjoy, puzzles are frequent enough to challenge, but not so often they're boring or annoying. I haven't met anyone who didn't like this game.

DOS · by Cyric (50) · 2001



  • Computer Gaming World
    • June 1996 (Issue #143) – Role-Playing Game of the Year

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by andrew welch.

Windows added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger.

Game added August 12th, 2000. Last modified August 25th, 2023.