Sometimes the right adventure comes along at the right time, just when your spirits are flagging. After looking at two or three humdrum games in a row, and stuffing them back in their jiffy bags, I brightened up a bit when I saw this new release from Eighth Day Software. Full credit to Mike White, the one-man band behind Eighth Day, who's really back on top form.
The Weaver Of Her Dreams is a strange and original game, which also harks back to the early days of adventuring, with well-written text and ingenious problems. The loading screen starts to cast the first spell, an enigmatic black and white effort. In fact casting spells is what the game's all about, as there are comparatively few objects lying around, but plenty of magic.
A thorough search of the opening location will allow you to escape - though not through the door, as that only leads to the game's ending, and you don't want that yet. No, you escape into the imagination - or do you? That's part of the game's charm, it's up to you to decide what's going on.
Soon you are at the base of a small rise overlooking an encamped army, and an old man tells you that you must defeat the enemy, whose magical power is locked in the tower you see rising above you. You are now clad in a cloak with a hood, and have a wooden staff. As you try to enter the tower, flames engulf you and soon lead to your death. Thank goodness for the RAM SAVE.
Deal with the flames and you find yourself in a large cavern inside the tower's entrance. Examine the archway above you (and in the game you must SEARCH and EXAMINE everything in sight) and you see a red circle - and discover you now have the CRIZP spell in your possession. Cast this and a thunderbolt strikes. Then there's the HYDRO spell, that causes a cloud to appear and fill the air with rain. Go up from the ball of flame rolling down the wide stone ramp at you, like something out of Indiana Jones. Go down from the cavern onto the stone path and a fist emerges from under your feet, like the scene at the end of Carrie. Something tells me this ain't gonna be no picnic!
The text in this text-only game is mostly very well done indeed, and there aren't many adventures which send me scurrying to the dictionary because they've used a word I don't recognise. This one did, though, the word being DEFELATION. The trouble is, when I'd scurried to the dictionary I was no wiser because not even the Oxford English Dictionary had heard of it! Elsewhere there's another description where no holes are barred. "She stood in a tunnel-shaped opening that led into a massive cavern below. A vast chasm split the rock from where boiling ghouts of hissing lava broiled high into the air. A path led down to the inferno and another up to a cooler passage."
This is the stuff, Sis is what we adventurers want! But hang on a tic. Ghouts? What the flip is a ghout? Back to the OED - nope, they've never heard of that one either!
The game plays well too. In addition to the spells, clever problems and the large network of locations, there are rings to wear, magic words to utter, pits to avoid, gargoyles, talking doors, fire giants, dragons, djinns, bridges, necromancers and caves full of eyes.
The Weaver Of Her Dreams might seem pricey but it does come with a small booklet and not a penny of the purchase price is wasted, believe me. If it wasn't for a few spelling mistakes (chimmney/chimney and draw/drawer) the game might have edged into the megagame bracket. As it is, it's merely brilliant. Buy it at once, or I shall come round and CAST CRIZP on your nether regions. That'll bring the tears to your eyes!