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SummaryAn experiment that failed... miserably.
The GoodWhen word spread of an Elite-like action RPG, a smart mix using a vast map of hundreds of cities, a trading-sim with classes, skills, spells and an inventory for the main character, many were intrigued. In a time of hype, colossal development circles and a mammoth of a market, we seek the "small game" that will make a difference. We try to discover the hidden outsider that will use a small, simple but bright idea to make our turns head.
Spells of Gold was supposed to be one of these games. They used "Elite" to describe it- it +had+ to be the one. No restrictions during gameplay: just trade away, slay monsters, advance in the three classes (Fighter, Wizard AND Trader), handle the odd quest now and then and advance in the main plot whenever, wherever you like.
Many trading items (each commodity carrying a degradation factor, which reduces its value after many days of travel), Churches of 5 Different Gods, Guilds and Organizations, that give better Quests in time (as long as you keep them happy) and reward you with spells, perks and/or a skill bonus. All seems well.
The BadUnfortunately, a clever enough idea, simplistic and addictive, is not enough without a proper game design.
The game feels stale, very very old and out-dated. The graphics are not really attractive. The animation is grotesque. Really horrible. The cheesy music score grows on you- after hearing it again and again that is. Assuming you ignore all these, soon you will find that Spells of Gold lacks the most essential feature: gameplay.
Travel between cities is represented poorly; dots connect the cities. Tik-tik-tik and you are there. Random encounters between destinations: never. A handful of monsters will wait for you...every-single-time, out of the city gates. Combat is not at all challenging- aside from that, weapons and skills are not at all balanced: armed with a bow, all monsters die within seconds. No use for armor, spells, stats. After 30 minutes, Spells of Gold unfolds all of its cards. And they aren't that good.
It's a boring game- and that doesn't have to do with it being basically a trading sim- trading sims can be fascinating things, with depth and challenge. SOG's failure has to do with hopeless repetitiveness, utter boredom and unchallenging gameplay- despite its "action" side. It really is a petty.