Theldrow is an early adventure game for the Macintosh. All in black and white, it was based mainly on the old Dungeons and Dragons game. With one main exception. Instead of picking a class to be, players could use all of the skills of each class, including casting magic and clerical spells, fighting with armor and weapons, and using thiefly skills such as pilfering.
Just getting to the town of Boden is a trial. The road to town is occupied by many monsters, including rats and a wild boar. And all you have to defend yourself with is a lousy dagger. If you manage to survive the attack, you can make your way to Boden and buy armor and a better weapon. Some magical weapons are hidden in monster hoards scattered through the game, so be sure to check your weapons carefully.
In addition to fighting monsters for their money and treasures, you will occasionally find pieces of parchment scattered throughout the town and dungeons. Some of these hold the keys to what happened to your father, and involve four items of power scattered throughout the land. These four items hold the key to another world, a world which your father disappeared into and never returned.
Another place you will wish to investigate is the bizarre. This hidden area holds a shop that sells magic items and components needed to power some of the more powerful spells of the game. Still other components are available as booty from defeating certain monsters.
Though this game definitely fits into the "old and hoary" category, it can still keep your interest. Finding the items you will need to open the gate, and exploring the various areas of the game is still interesting. Combat is somewhat static, with players clicking on their weapon to use it, and pictures of monsters being replaced with tombstones as they are killed.
This game is freeware, and still worth a look. Very enjoyable and playable, even today. If you want a game with great graphics and spurting blood, then this isn't for you. But if you want a game that promotes story over fighting, then this game will do it for you.
Graphics: Very early and very crude. But, you can tell what your foes are and they are still decent by today's standards.
Sound: Next to no sound at all. Some newer versions do have sound, but they are harsh.
Enjoyment: Surprisingly enough, the game is still very enjoyable. There are enough hidden surprises to delight even the most hardened veteran player.
Replay Value: Once you have played the game through, that's it. It doesn't lend itself well to repeated gameplay.
Theldrow is yet another excellent amateur RPG that has remained largely unknown to PC gamers because it was released only as a Mac shareware game. A first-person perspective game similar to Bard's Tale or Might & Magic series, Theldrow is an accessible RPG for beginners, but with enough complexities to entertain veteran gamers as well. The game shares many similarities with Roguelike RPGs in the amazing number of options and alternate routes. For example, you can try to steal items with various chances of getting caught. If you are caught, you are no longer welcome in that store. Add to that pleasant color graphics, intuitive interface, good writing, and fun adventure-game style puzzles, and Theldrow is a game well worth your time and effort. If you like the game, also check out the spiritual sequel called Cythera which is being published by Ambrosia Software. Highly recommended!
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