It's a role-playing game, where you take on the role of an bold hero who ventures into a 50 levels tower named Darkspyre, full of riddles and monsters. Features a rather interesting spellcasting system and a Gauntlet-like visual from above.
Computer role-playing games are my favorite, from my earliest days of Ultima and Wizardry on an Apple IIe to Rogue and Telenguard on a TRS-80 Color Computer to Neverwinter Nights and Oblivion on a PC. Given that I love RPGs I really tried to give DarkSprye time to grow on me.
DarkSprye, unfortunately, never did. I spent well over an hour wandering around a pointless maze all in an effort to ensure that you, dear reader, received a fair report on this game. I am sure that DarkSpyre was a welcome addition at a time when computer games were not as abundantly available as they are now.
DarkSpyre offers you a quick start ability: your choice af a "fast start" male or female character, or the ability to generate your own character by reading a ton of story line and making selection as you see fit. You can assign all your skill points or let the program assign the base values and adjust them from there.
There is a full inventory system and you can drag and drop weapons, armor, amulets, spell books, potions, etc. onto your likeness. Standard fair for RPG games of yesterday and today. The game has the ability to cast spells, make potions (pretty cool for a 1990's game), keys, throwing knives and spikes and more.
The game is "real time" in that the enemy will move and attack even if you don't. Make sure you pause if you need to walk away. The graphics are certainly playable, although nothing special, the sounds work, and the music (plays during combat) is acceptable.
Once you learn the proper spell and add it to your spell book, you must ready it before it can be cast. To make potions you must have an empty flask in one hand and something to make the potion from in the other, such as a ruby (healing) or emerald (poison). You can drink or throw potions - you can probably guess which action to choose with which potion. Beware of becoming poisoned as it doesn't wear off with time: cure yourself or die!
That all sounds good, and it is, leading me to the bad part. Notice there is no "save game" key! You can only save at certain parts of the game when you find a magic rune. This is a major pain given how easy it is to die (depending on some luck) in a fight (until you find a hit point enhancing amulet).
The amount of the dungeon maze that you can see at any given time is fairly limited making it difficult to find the way to the next level. Based on the scroll that lets you make hidden things invisible it is possible I missed something important, but I was not powerful enough to cast it.
DarkSpyre is worth a look, and if you can get past the lack of a save feature and the limited view, then this is a cool game. Chose your weapon and go kick some butt...
The game is played using the following keys:
Arrow keys (even diagonals using the keypad) to moveEnter key to activate levers"T" to take (pick up) items off the ground"P" to pause the game"R" to restore a saved game"-" for more inventory screen and less play area"+" for more play area and less inventory screen
Dreamforge's first game as Event Horizon is a solid overhead RPG that deftly combines real-time action and physical puzzles (e.g. traps, switches) with traditional RPG gaming. The plot which involves arcane artifacts and the usual big-foozle-out-to-destroy-the-world setting, starts out cliche (you are chosen to enter DarkSpyre, an evil stronghold) and quickly picks up the pace. It's a good game, with innovative story-based character creation system that would become Dreamforge's hallmark in subsequent RPGs.
Darkspyre is a mix between an action and roleplay game. You start the game by creating the character you want to play as. Now don't get too excited since you can't really choose between much in the end. The actual game starts in a dungeon where you can walk around and pick up different items like potions, magic books and a wide selection of weapons.
The actual combat in the game is poorly done simply because of the controls in the game. You have to stand very close to things including your enemies and face in the correct direction. Nothing wrong about that but sometimes your character simply doesn't' turn around and that is a bit frustrating since someone is knocking you out at the same time. When the combat does work though it's easy since you just have to click on a few buttons to attack. Items can be equipped quickly by pulling up the menu and move the wanted item on to your character.
The graphics in the game are standard for 1990 but I like the character/inventory menu as it's easy to get a good overview of what you have in your possession. While the combat in the game is a bit too simple there are some good puzzles in the game so you should be able to enjoy Darkspyre even when you take the poor controls into consideration.
Action roleplaying game. Walk through dungeons. Gameplay is seen from above. The gameplay is good as are the graphics.
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