Beyond Software
Mike Singleton
1984
Strategy: War
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Power-Load

32
John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

THE STORY so far... an icy chill has crept into the hearts of the people of Midnight. It emanates from the black towers of Icemark, domain of Shareth the Heartstealer, daughter of Doomdark and captor of Morkin, son of Luxor the Moonprince.

Luxor, with his hundred-fold army, has once again to fight the dread might of Doomdark's wizardry. He passes through the gate of Varenorn, opened by Rorthron the Wise, into the desolation of the chilled lands of Icemark in search of his kin.

To the north-west lies the kingdom of the Giants, to the east the Dwarfs and to the south the barbarian lords and the Fey, faithful to Luxor's cause.

In the north-east lies Shareth whose reason for revenge is personal. She wanted to murder her father and claim his power but Luxor got there first.

At the start of the game Luxor can control the other characters, which include Tarithel, the author's token woman and Morkin's betrothed. Each character moves through the landscape fighting enemies and building armies as in Lords of Midnight. Not much more can be said about the plot of the game but the technical excellence with which it is programmed makes it a cut above its predecessor.

You can find more than 128 characters while roaming through the beautifully drawn landscapes. Those may turn out to be friends, treacherous friends, or enemies. Be wary of your loyal subjects - their hearts may have been stolen by Shareth.

In the Lords of Midnight one criticism of the game was that you could not enter the citidels and other buildings. In Doomdark's Revenge you can. At first the darkness, illuminated by well animated guttering torches, is sufficiently different to make underground travel interesting but when you have been through several of those passages you may decide to stay above ground no matter what the dangers. The author hopes to give more variety to interiors in the finale of the trilogy but, until then, you will have to put up with danger in the dark.

One of the major differences in Doomdark's Revenge again concerns characters. When you call up a character you can see their emotional make-up, loyalty and state of mind. If they are tired they will not move.

The speed of the program is impressive. The period between the fall of night and dawn has been shortened and the speed at which the graphics are drawn seems to have miraculously grown.

The combination of strategy and adventure which the game provides surpasses everything that has gone before in both markets, and that summing up includes even Lords of Midnight. The author has yet again hit upon a winning combination in a game which should take its place in computer history in record time.

John Gilbert

Memory: 48K
Price: £9.95

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