Forbidden Castle

by Mercer Mayer


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
One of the great IFs of the past, December 8, 2009
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

This is one of the older IF games, dating back to about 1983 or so.

You are a normal guy in London on vacation. You enter an antique shop, and the next thing you know you're in a fantastic forest watching a huge ogre walk by.

This game has some fantastic writing. Each scene seems alive. It also has more NPCs than many of its competetors of the time. (Combat is not necessary, NPCs should be bartered with or talked to). The puzzles are fairly simple, and most of the game involves discovering what the story is and how to help the person in need.

The game is very old, offers no hints, and has a terrible parser. It can be unfair at times (one character may randomly take an item from you if you say something the game doesn't understand to him) and it predates the z-machine. (So some commands like "i" for inventory don't work, use "inv" instead). NPCs will assume you're speaking to them when you type something (so typing I instead of INV may get an NPC response) and the save the game system relies on one of the 9 pre-generated save files.

Still, it's a classic bit of gaming. It's fun speaking with the well-developed (for the time) characters, and solving the puzzles. Just remember to examine everything "CAREFULLY" or you'll miss vital clues.

By today standards, it can be very annoying, since it doesn't hold to any of the standard commands, but the writing and scenario makes up for it. It's abandonware, and when you find it, it's in a dos executable file. (Try underdogs site).

Definately worth a play.

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tggdan3, December 9, 2009 - Reply
Actually I was considering porting it over myself through Inform. I really like this game and I'd like for it to get out, though I'd hate for whatever company owns the rights to get mad about it. (It was owned by the now-defunct Angelsoft).
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