Return to Kroz

aka: Castle of Kroz, Shrine of Kroz
Moby ID: 732

Description

This is the first game of the Super Kroz trilogy. Despite the name, it's very much more of the same - more puzzles, more monsters to kill or avoid, and even more levels.

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Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 3 ratings with 1 reviews)

The same Kroz we all know and love, but with teeth

The Good
In the mid-’80s, Scott Miller, the founder of Apogee Software, wrote a simple game called Kingdom of Kroz as part of a national programming content. Although he was runner up, it was enough for him to create two more games, but rather than distributing all three games and asking for donations like he did in the past, he decided to make The Kroz Trilogy use “The Apogee Model” - in which other game companies eventually embraced – where the first game would be distributed for free, but gamers had to send a small fee to Miller to get the final two games.

This method worked, and the trilogy was successful enough to warrant a second one containing three new games: Return to Kroz, Temple of Kroz, and The Final Crusade of Kroz. I am going to focus on the first game. Just with the original trilogy, players were encouraged to send Miller a small donation to get the last two games.

Before the game starts, players select whether they have a color or monochrome card, and whether they have a fast or slow PC. Return to Kroz is designed to run on all systems, regardless of what CPU they have or what speed it runs at. This means that the game can be run on an original IBM PC without any problems.

The object of the game is to search 20 dungeons for the valuable crown. This can be achieved by making your way to the exit while battling monsters with your whip that is capable of swinging in eight directions. You also collecting various items that will help you survive, including gems, more whips, teleports, and keys. As usual, the even-numbered levels sees you completely surrounded by monsters and teleporting as close to the exit as possible. Of course you can save as you progress through the game to avoid having to start over. In initial versions of the game, the user is required to enter a registration code to access the twelfth dungeon, although this was removed in later revisions.

Return to Kroz still uses ASCII graphics to depict the different types of monsters and items. but this time they are impressive. I like the second-last level in the game, entitled “The Water Labyrinth”. This level is so colorful that I didn’t want to leave it.

The game boasts many new features. Among these are invisible traps that will change the whole dungeon if the player walks over them, statues that steal the player’s gems if they get close, and monster generators that need to be destroyed. There is even a new animation of you falling down a pit, rather than the player transforming himself when he touches one.

You can control the protagonist with the four arrow keys, but also with the keypad. The keypad can be used to make diagonal moves, which are especially useful for avoiding hazards like lava and pits right next to you.

The Bad
Just with the original trilogy, the even-numbered dungeons are so full of monsters that when you teleport in these dungeons, it is extremely difficult to see where you end up.

The Bottom Line
Kingdom of Kroz plays the same as the last three games in the original Kroz trilogy, but new features are introduced. Some of the dungeons are quite stunning, especially the later ones. As with the other games, this one is designed to run on any system, and movement is done with the keyboard, either with the four arrow keys or the numeric keypad. If you want to discover what Apogee has done before they made high-profile platform games, make sure to check this out.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2019

Trivia

Scott Miller decided to name this game Return to Kroz, because he liked the title to the third Star Wars movie, Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi.

Related Games

Temple of Kroz
Released 1990 on DOS
Caverns of Kroz
Released 1989 on DOS
Dungeons of Kroz
Released 1989 on DOS
Lost Adventures of Kroz
Released 1990 on DOS
Return to Dark Castle
Released 2008 on Macintosh
Champions: Return to Arms
Released 2005 on PlayStation 2
Kingdom of Kroz
Released 1988 on DOS

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Game added by Retron.

Additional contributors: Frenkel.

Game added January 12th, 2000. Last modified September 2nd, 2023.