Written by  :  Gothicgene (83)
Written on  :  Jul 18, 2001
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars

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No doubt the BEST gold box game by SSI / AD&D and a worthy final to the Pool of Radiance storyline

The Good

The epic starting with Pool of Radiance, continuing through Curse of the Azure Bonds and Secret of the Silver Blades, finally got a worthy final. The graphics are majorly improved, as are a few other features we all know and love from the gold box games: now your character name is highlighted when he's ready to level, etc. Also, the story is completely non-linear, very intriguing and challenging. Your characters wander around the Moonsea, from Phlan to Zhentil Keep to Myth Drannor and back into other planes to meet and oppose deities (Lloth, Moander, Bane). You get to meet famous NPC's (Elminster from the Forgotten Realms RPG as well as old faces from the previous games), you fight Dragons, Demons and Devils, and you - of course - save the world. Simply awesome.

The Bad

Well, if you like gold box games there's nothing not to like, although many RPG'ers dislike gold box games and prefer the Ultima's, Might & Magic's or Wizardry's. Also, this game sticks very closely to AD&D rules - which, at this high levels, means that non-humans are ridiculously underpowered due to level limitations.

Another thing is that on modern machines combat is much too fast for you to see details. Moslo doesn't help here, interestingly enough, as it only slows down the intro. This is weird because Moslo DOES help out in Pool's predecessor, Secret of the Silver Blades. Anyone else have this problem and/or know why that is? I'd love to replay the game with proper combat speed.

The Bottom Line

If you've enjoyed the whole story arc starting at Pool of Radiance, you'll simply LOVE Pools of Darkness - the best of the lot.