Reviews by Canalboy

Ghost Story

View this member's profile

Show ratings only | both reviews and ratings
View this member's reviews by tag: Adrift Alchemist Apocalypse Archimedes BBC Bill Lindsay Surreal Parser Based Birmingam IV - Large Old School Fantasy Puzzlefest Castle Comedy Competition Game Curses! Difficult difficult puzzles Difficult. DOS Endgame Enormous Epic Fantasy Fyleet Ghost Story Good Story Gothic Grail Quest. Hezarin Horror Infocom Island Jim Aikin Kingdom of Hamil Large Large Story Based IF Lydia's Heart Magnetic Scrolls Mainframe Massive Mazes MS-DOS Mulldoon Legacy Mystery New Version NPCs Odyssey Old Fashioned old school Parser Peter Killworth Phoenix Puzzle Based Puzzle Fest Puzzlefest Puzzlefest ParserComp Mazes Puzzlefest Old School Large Puzzles Quest. Randomised Combat Relationship RISC OS Romance Science Fiction Sequel Shakespearean Shakesperean Time Travel Tolkienesque Topologika Treasure Hunt Two Word Parser Two Word Parser. vampire Vast Warp well written.
...or see all reviews by this member
1-1 of 1


The Phantom's Revenge, by Dian Crayne
An Excellent Dian Crayne Ghost Story Cum Puzzler In Dos, November 27, 2023
by Canalboy (London, UK.)
Related reviews: Treasure Hunt, Fantasy, Ghost Story, Parser, Vast

On the whole I enjoyed this game; I like Dian's games in general but this one ratchets up the story and the atmosphere as you progress while containing some very devious puzzles. It has a much better back story than Dian's Castle Elsinore for instance which was written just afterwards.

There is a steep augmentation in puzzle difficulty towards the end and you have to pay particular attention to character motivation and the back history of your (and others) erstwhile existence to logically solve the last section. There is a jaw dropping moment when you enter a certain location and find out who you are. Dian's skills as an author stand her in good stead here over the 170 odd locations in the game; it is not easy melding a treasure hunt with a Phantom Of The Opera style story but this is one of the better hybrids that I have played.

On the down side there are a few bugs including my bug bear of a non-described ordinal exit and a creature that can be slain but upon returning to the scene of the battle is dead yet still alive (no, not like Leonard Cohen). The knife wielding maniacs become tiresome after their third or fifth appearance as well. I also encountered a couple of parser struggles but in a game this size and with only a two word parser this is excusable and I found the right synonym after a few attempts in both instances. There are a number of magic words and transportation locations to save on lamp time which is generously dished out at 1000 moves. And in keeping with its reverential nods to Crowther and Woods there is a last lousy point which makes more sense than in the original. Just be on your toes or you'll miss the boat.

The inventory limit is predicated on weight not number of objects which is of course more realistic but the short cuts to the more far flung reaches of the game mean that it is never too onerous a task to pick up an object dropped earlier through overload. There is the game's equivalent of the thieving pirate but you have to let him steal from you at least once to glean all the treasures.

Add a couple of small but navigable mazes and this should keep you busy for a good few days.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 


1-1 of 1