You are the prince and heir to the land's greatest kingdom. Garth, a wizard of immense power and greed, banished you as a child to far away while he ran the kingdom with an iron hand. As you grew, you were taught the ways of a master fighter. And you learned well. Return to your kindgom to end Garth's rule!
You are the prince of the Great Kingdom (not the best name I've ever heard), and as a boy you watched your father (the king) die at the hands of Garth, a warlord mage who, after murdering your father, sent you away to live with a peasant, never to fulfill your destiny as king. Little did Garth know, however, that the peasant he sent you to live with was once the kingdom's greatest hero! For years, he has been training you to do battle with Garth, and now the day for you to set out on your quest is finally here.
The gameplay is quite good, but it can be tedious at times; every level is the same thing - find an item, bring it to a character, find the door that opens, exit, rinse, repeat. But it's not as easy as it sounds; the item that heals you to full health is quite rare, and to heal one health you need to get ten coins. With only eight health points, it can get quite annoying, as when you die you return to your last save with however much health you had when you saved, meaning that if you saved with one health you're most likely doomed.
There aren't too many enemies, but they do their part. There are spiders, weird plant-like creatures that shoot lightning, and a few others. You can increase the power of your attacks by finding power-ups, from a blue shot to an orange boomerang shot, and so on. There are some good platforming sections that have you jumping on collapsing platforms which re-form, so that when you have to come back, you can. There are also three skill levels to play at.
Sound effects are nothing but a bunch of beeps and boops. I don't really need to say anything else; there's not much to them. The music however, unlike the effects, is quite good. There are upbeat tempos, slower music, and pieces in-between. Although the music does use beeps and boops too, they sound more at home here, with good atmospheric noises in the background.
The graphics department is where the game takes a turn for the worse. They're outdated, as this game was made prior to the original Commander Keen series, but they're perfect for the game.
Moving, jumping, and attacking, is easy since there are no bugs in the control system. You use the arrows keys to move your character, CTRL to jump, and ALT to attack. Overall, a very good game, but because of its repetitive gameplay, I give it 3 out of 5.
You play the role of a young hero who's quest is to avenge his family's death and gets caught up in more than he ever bargained for. Greyor, a menacing wizard who seems invincible is using his magic to slowly conquer the continents. He must be stopped and you must use both your sword and your wits as you gradually gather the medallion pieces that will put an end to his tyranny. Explore a vast world and plunder deadly dungeons. Interact with many people and gather the clues that will help you defeat Greyor.
This is a game for everyone, from the first-timer to the hearty gamer. The experienced will find the game a refreshing return to the classic days of dragon warrior, Zelda, and the original Final Fantasies and Ultimas that had changed the way we viewed CRPGs for many years thereafter. The new gamer will find an easy way to get caught up in a wonderful genre of computer gaming. This is an amateur-made game, thus there is no rating system. It contains some cartoon blood, not very real looking, and very, very rare use of obscenities. It is most likely appropriate for all ages if they are responsible enough to use a PC, but use discretion if necessary.
So if you don't mind the simple graphics that most look like a children cartoon drawn game and the few character feature and statistics Dark Ages can be a good choice because of the ease of use and somewhat good but simple, and classic, story.
Dark Ages is one of the earliest shareware platformers published by Apogee, and one that is among their worst. The plot: you are the prince and heir to the land's greatest kingdom. Garth, a wizard of immense power and greed, banished you as a child to far away while he ran the kingdom with an iron hand. Needless to say, you have grown into a master fighter, and has now returned to your kingdom to defeat Garth and claim your birthright to the throne.
The game, like numerous other Apogee titles, is a side-scrolling platform action game. The difference between Dark Ages and Apogee classics such as the Commander Keen series, however, is that it is much more boring, easy, and very short. It will probably take an average gamer 2-3 hours at most to beat the game; veteran gamers will definitely be able to finish it in under an hour. Lackluster EGA graphics and choppy animations don't make it better, either. A very disappointing game in all aspects ... I would have given this a Real Dog tag if not for the one redeeming fact that controls are simple and easy to pick up. Thumbs down for this one.
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Conan The Cimmerian, Daemonsgate, Crystals Of Arborea, Companions of Xanth, Crusaders of Might and Magic, Champions of Krynn, Dark Queen of Krynn, The, Diablo
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