In this RPG, you play the role of four heroes whose mission is to save their world, Kalynthia, from the evil arch mage Bronagh. Most of the time, while exploring the over world, the game is shown in a 2D top-down view. It gives you much freedom: there's more to do than just stick to the main quest. Towns have a static interface where you reach the wished location by pressing the according symbol. e.g. a church for healing up or a sage for hints.
During dungeon crawls the game switches to a 3D view and plays similar to Dungeon Master. As usual for this kind of games you see the dungeon in a small windows while your characters are shown on the right hand side of the screen. Dungeon sequences are completely in real-time. This includes combat which basically consists of clicking on a character's weapon or magic spell and then clicking on the monster. After every usage of a weapon/spell you have to wait a certain time until you can use i
Twelve brave heroes are trapped in stone and buried deep under the Temple of Heaven's Light, ready to be called forth when the land of Kalynthia needs them most. With their existence almost forgotten and their location lost for years, the time has come to call them forth to battle once again and defend the land of Kalynthia against the evil Bronakh.
Although all twelve remain intact, the wizards of Kalynthia only have the power to summon four from their stone slumber - two warriors, a wizard and a priest. Whom will you choose?
Abandoned Places puts the player in control of four heroes, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and unique sets of abilities. All characters have their own inventory, where they can hold items, wear trinkets, and store objects. They also have a small portrait which changes depending on their health and situation. As the game begins, you will find yourself lost in the depths of the Temple's bowels, with very little with which to defend your party. Novices will find this introduction very tricky, especially since you're still learning to navigate the controls, so don't be surprised if multiple attempts are required to get through this first sequence.
Controlling and moving your party is done through a small 3D window, where you have a first-person perspective of what your party is seeing. Although it's somewhat basic graphically, it is essential you use it to keep a keen eye on your surroundings so as to not miss hidden wall buttons and piles of gold. Surprisingly, although the graphics aren't anything special, Abandoned Places pays a lot of attention to detail and the player will find an abundance of items and objects scattered around the game world.
Combat is presented in real-time with a "cool-down" system on each of your weapons and magic. Frustratingly, because each weapon needs to be clicked to be used, you will find yourself concentrating a lot of your time on clicking each small item for it to be successfully used, rather than watching the combat at hand.
When you do manage to clamber from the depths of the Temple, Abandoned Places really begins to shine. The game opens up, giving the player a great sense of freedom with sidequests branching off from the main narrative and much exploration available in the setting. Traveling is depicted from a bird's-eye view perspective, which is a breath of fresh air from the sometimes blocky first-person perspective, and extensive environments allow for a varied experience.
Being a port from the Amiga, Abandoned Places does have its technical drawbacks. There is only the introductory music, which is grainy and of poor quality, and after that the game falls silent. Players using the mouse will sometimes come across delays and unregistered clicks which can become infuriating in combat situations. The game also has a tendency to hang, which again is due to the crappy port.
All in all, Abandoned Places is a very involving game, allowing the player a great degree of freedom and exploration. Although the title can become somewhat repetitive with its monster-bashing and porting issues, players will find the gaming experience rich and immersive.
Abandoned Places is a subpar PC conversion of a well-respected Amiga RPG. In this dungeon crawl, you must select four heroes to fight the evil that threatens the land of Kalynthia as they emerge from their prison. The game is noted for the variety of graphics, e.g. 3D for dungeon exploration and combats and a bird's eye view for travel, depicted with excellent animations. The game is also very open-ended in that you can ignore the main plot for a long time, and there are very few tasks to do besides monster bashing. Too bad the PC conversion turns the game's strengths into horrendous graphics and sluggish pace. Caveat emptor.
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