Sunday, September 28, 2008


(Warning: spoilers!)

Microprose's Dragonsphere is not a good game. The puzzles are hair-raisingly illogical; I had to play the entire game with a walkthrough and have no idea how many of these puzzles are even remotely solvable without endless trial and error.

The story begins cliché enough: you're this prince, there's this evil sorcerer, he's been imprisoned. You have a Dragonsphere, which shows how strong the prison of the bad guy is, and it gets progressively weaker over the course of the game.

I should say "over the course of half the game," really. When I started playing the game, I noticed a few odd things about this prince I was playing -- he seemed like a mannerless oaf, very much not the Graham of King's Quest.

And, as it turns out, you don't actually play the prince. You're a shapeshifter, a race feared and/or hated by many in the kingdom, and after you finish off the bad guy roughly 2/3rds through the game, the queen and the prince's traitorous brother have no more need of you. An interesting twist in what would have otherwise been a straightforward paint-by-numbers fantasy adventure, but the awfulness of the puzzles and the completely unnecessary inclusion of a luck-based game you have to win roughly 20 times as a filler still makes me put it firmly in the "mediocre" category.

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