Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
I remember them
Of course you do. Dungeon Master II tried to reawaken the slumbering giant a while back, only to foil at the hands of the Doom all-conquering chainsaw. Now Stonekeep is giving it another shot and. although it certainly looks impressive, plays fairly well and is generally pretty okay, there's always this constant nagging doubt at the back of your mind that says. "What are you doing? This is a flick-screen game. They went out years ago. Stop it at once". And it just means that no matter how good it may be, Stonekeep will always look and feel dated.
That said, its favourable points are that it has a nice, easy to handle control method, there's a wide variety of levels to keep you interested, and there's a thoughtful experience system allowing your character(s) to become more skilled with their weapons the more they use them. On the minus side it's flick-screen. the levels are laid out with the usual wandering monster routines that I find incredibly annoying (there's none of the clever social interaction between races and intricate storylines that were shown in the Ultima Underworld series for example), it's flick-screen, there's no easy way to identify certain objects -you have to wade through an interminable journal to identify things when you could so easily have just put them over an 'eye' icon or something, it's flick-screen (You may haw mentioned this already - Ed.), the stock graphic sources, while nice enough in themselves, soon become very repetitive indeed and last but not least, it's flick-screen (I think you're obsessed - Ed.).
Stoneybridging the gap
So now you're familiar with the problem I have with Stonekeep - and it's one that you're going to have to make your own decision on. Some of you may still hanker after those halcyon days of 1993. before BFGs. before plasma guns, before Macca, but for most of us Stone keep is a step backwards rather than a safe middle ground. Not only is the style of play old. but the internal workings, the very gameplay if you will, is equally past it. Simple puzzles, monsters and mazes no longer do it for us. While the game was being designed. Interplay should have taken a good look at what was happening in the world of games, taken note of the subtleties, the intricacies that other titles showed, and come up with something over and above that which Eye Of The Beholder was delivering all that time ago. Stonekeep is a case of gloss but no substance. Packaging but no innards. Taggart but no Mark McManus. So why can I smell a sequel on the horizon?
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