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Troll's Tale

Moby ID: 7271
Apple II Specs

Description

An evil troll has hidden all of the treasures of Mark, The Dwarf King. There are 15 treasures hidden throughout the land that you need to help locate. If you locate a treasure, but the troll is on the screen at the time, you will need to come back and find a way to make him leave. Troll's Tale is an adventure game which requires minimal typing, using the spacebar to select from several possible actions which are listed on the screen and pressing enter to perform the selected action.

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Credits (Apple II version)

7 People

Programmed by
Text and Graphics by
Graphics Routines from Penguin Software's Graphics Magician were written by

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 67% (based on 1 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 17 ratings with 1 reviews)

A nice "find-it" game that provides hours of fun for kids

The Good
Troll's Tale was created in the early Eighties by Sierra On-Line, a company that went on to create high-quality adventure games such as King's Quest. The game mechanics are similar to Dragon's Keep, in that the game was programmed using Graphics Magician and, since it is designed for children, does not require people to type in commands at the prompt.

When the game starts, children explore the land while searching for 16 treasures that were stolen from King Mark, the dwarf king. They also need to keep on eye out for the troll. In each screen, children are presented with 2-3 choices. If the troll happens to appear on the same screen as the treasure they need to get, they have to go back and re-enter that screen until he goes away.

And that's what makes the game exciting. You never know when and where he appears. The way in which lets you get comfortable with the prompts you see before you start the game is a nice touch - Press [Space] to select a command, and then [Return] to execute it. You'll also see a list of treasures you need to collect. If you just jumped into the game, you can press [F7] to bring up that same list.

The game poses a challenge, especially if you only have one treasure left to find. I remember spending 10-15 minutes going around in circles, looking for that one treasure. I gave up only because, having played Dragon's Keep previously, I knew the ending would be "Congratulations. You have completed Troll's Tale" or something like that and nothing else.

Making a map of the locations you visit is essential if you don't want to get lost in the game, including all the treasures that are found in each location. That way you can remember what treasure lies in what screen if you decide to play the game a second time.

Each screen and character is designed well, and I always like that the game lets you watch as it draws each object. There is a bit of background music when some events, like the picking up of an object, are executed. You can press [F2] to turn the sound on or off, but I like the background music because it sounds cute.

The Bad
The Commodore 64 version is the only one that lacks a proper title screen. It is just text only.

The Bottom Line
In conclusion, Troll's Tale is designed for children in mind, but it can be played by adults as well. While they try to find treasures, they can also learn directions and the importance in map-making, and they can gaze in awe at the backdrops. All they have to do is get through the game is press two keys instead of entering commands like they would in future Sierra games. Part of the challenge is trying not to run into the troll. When I played this game myself, I managed to get through about ten screens without seeing it. If children manage to find all the treasures, they can play the game again if they want to complete it in a shorter time than they previously did.

Commodore 64 · by Katakis | カタキス (43091) · 2012

Trivia

"King Mark", the dwarf king whose treasures the player aims to retrieve, is named after Penguin Software genius Mark Pelczarski, whose "Graphics Magician" application was used to handle the graphics.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Apple II added by RodeoInTheGreatWhiteNorth.

Additional contributors: Pseudo_Intellectual, Karsa Orlong.

Game added September 26, 2002. Last modified August 30, 2023.