The story behind the game starts with the Eharin, an ancient Elfin race, who created a magical artifact known as the Inovar. At that time in the Earth's history a terrible plague known as the Nagroma, swept the land at the start of winter killing every living thing it encountered. With the aid of the Inovar the Eharin were able to create a protective barrier that kept the plague at bay. However the barrier, the Cairnrue, did not just keep the plague at bay, it stopped everything, so every spring the Rite of Decairn had to be performed to allow rain to fall.
This rite has been performed for many years by Varwield Arthermin who has grown old and bitter. The last time he raised the Cairnrue, Arhermin tried to keep its power for himself. He was defeated by Kiron the Protector in a great battle during which a shard was split from the great stone of Inovar. Kiron took the stone and fled over the Adklaart Mire where, it is rumoured, he is now trapped by Arthermin's soldiers.
Arthermin kept the shard and used its power to create the Naslava, creatures from the Earth's core, to protect him. This brought him into conflict with Rimarlion, Daughter of the Earth, whom he defeated and turned to stone. Before her fall Rimarlion entrusted her sacred amulet to the Laryx people of Mount Hiakron who in turn entrusted it to Sunquat, Leader of the Eharin, People of the Light.
The player enters the game as Varwield Secunda, chosen by your people to serve under Arthermin as his apprentice. For years you have served him but now, as storm clouds gather and the rainfall is absorbed by the Cairnrue, the time has come for the Rite of Decairn to be performed and that task falls on your shoulders.
Shard of Inovar a multi-platform, icon driven, text adventure game with graphics. It can be played with a keyboard or with a joystick. Instead of typing in 'Go North', 'Get item' and so on the player selects an appropriate icon from the panels that are above, below, and at either side of the screen. Another helpful feature is the 'Give item to person' icon which, when invoked, allows the player to select an item from the inventory and then highlights words from the last displayed piece of text for the player to select. This allows the player to select a person from their group without the need to spell all their names correctly every time.
Another solid fantasy adventure based on the Kobyashi Naruengine, Shard of Inovar is a more traditional adventure. You are a royal wizard who must invoke various rituals to reconstruct the cairnrue, a magical barrier that protects the earth from pestilence that falls from the sky. The game's interface is basically identical to Inovar, but with additional verbs and more logical placement of verb icons (thank goodness). The puzzles are easy and fair, and the plot is interesting enough to warrant playing to the end. Overall, a pleasant adventure that doesn't offer anything new, but is competent at what it does.
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