Unlike Wizard's Crown, SSI's RPG Shard of Spring has none of the company's characteristic war game detail. In fact, it feels like a low-rent version of Ultima III, with the latter's simple tactical combat, but less atmosphere. It's fun and even inventive in parts, but has its problems. Your party, made up of just two classes -- warriors and wizards -- battle such generic enemies as "Snakes" and "Level 4 Fighters" in your quest to save the beautiful island of Ymros from the witch Siriadne. She's hijacked a magical crystal shard that will, if destroyed, turn Ymros into an icy wasteland. Ymros is pretty dull as it is, actually, surrounded by regions with names like Islanda. An unusual and graceful skill system adds a little spice to the game. You must journey to certain guilds to give your characters sought-after abilities such as Armored Skin for your warriors, or Priesthood for your wizards. If you're a troll, elf, or gnome, you begin with confidence in these abilities, but no matter what your party's makeup is, you'll spend much of your time looking for a fight to build your experience levels.
A blessed island is always at ease thanks to the Shard Of Spring -- a crystal that bestows eternal springtime. Now, an evil sorceress has stolen the sacred shard and you have to get it back. The world you once knew has fallen to hunger, famine and despair. Everyone now asks you to come forward and take the challenge!
Quietly released by SSI in 1986 and 1987 were 2 PC conversions of their classic Apple II RPGs: Demon's Winter and The Shard of Spring. Both games are solid "conventional" RPGs (i.e. top-down view, lots of loot and monsters) which emphasizes level advancement and typical "kill the big foozle" endgame. In Demon's Winter, you must search the lands and seas for spells to trap the demon-god Malifon and undo his mystical curse. Entertaining and very well-written, if not revolutionary.
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