Ambermoon is a top-ish adventure yam with pleasing aesthetics and an absolutely gargantuan play area. Even if you play it hard and long, it's still that completion will take over months of terrestrial time.
Ambermoon fulfills a set standard in adventure game, such as loads of spells to find and use, different approaches to set problems, multitudes of characters to be conversed and interacted with, and multifarious combat situations. As such, it will be bought and loved by enough people to make the title profitable.
But here's my heartfelt plea to Thalion, because it really did hurt to see such a potentially fantastic game be hobbled within the limitations of the adventure game genre. If the implementation of the plotline is going to be as cliched as this, please, oh please, oh please, oh please put in some innovative and interesting gameplay that's worth me telling Amiga Format readers about. Because what we've got here is a tale of infinitesimal woe. A tale of a game with three reasonably significant contributing factors toward an engaging adventure game, namely - great graphics, and excellent 3D-2D game engine, and an adequate control system, but a game nevertheless that doesn't work as well as it could. It feels like a lion that's been shackled by a donkey.
Ambermoon is the sorry tale of a potentially wild game that needs to be rethought and re-released using the current game engine as the heart of a new style of adventure game.
Mean and moody
Think about the potential in borrowing certain effects from the cinema. Explorations of cellars, cities and other creepily dark areas like dungeons could be enhanced endlessly if the music was made truly reactive to the on-screen action.
Something similar to the tunnel sequences in Jurassic Park, or a re-enactment of the tense 'searching' moments in a two-player game of Death Mask when you know that the other player has got the big gun, would be just about right.
Ambermoon Combat in the game needs to be made real-time too, or at least have the option to be real-time. Ambermoon has a fantastic, pseudo-Doom-like engine with lush, optional, atmosphere enhancing, texture enhancing, texture mapping built in. Real-time, Doom-ish flavored, physical and magical combat, enhanced by cinematically styled reactive sound would mean that, even if your characters were poorly equipped, they might still be in with a chance of survival - unlike the primitive six square by five square, multi-click, chess based system currently installed. And while you were attempting to survive/conquer with said characters, the tension would be unbearable.
The use of such cinematic tricks makes the whole gaming experience much more enjoyable, involving and believable for the gamer. Instead, Thalion have chosen the path of the adventure equivalent of a crossword puzzle - something to do on a Sunday when there's nothing else worth doing. And it's a damn shame.
Ambermoon is one of the biggest fantasy games on the Amiga computer. If you still haven't tried it, you must! It is so big and so complex, that you will have to spend years playing it! We offer the unofficial english version, which was never released. Only german game was available in the stores.
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