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About the Story
You are Duke Alaric Blackmoon, recently given that title and the duchy of Charlton by a grateful King Kelson as a reward for finding the lost "Axe of Kolt" and helping to rid the land of the Xixon lizardmen.
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"The Spectre of Castle Coris" is the sequel to "The Axe of Kolt" by Larry Horsfield; this ADRIFT version is also a remastering of the eponymous ZX Spectrum game from the early 90s, with added gameplay and setting and a reworking of the puzzles. As with "The Axe of Kolt", the game is Polite, even if there are less ways to die than in the former, and the puzzles are fair and well-balanced.
The story is of the village of Corwyn, which is terrorized by a ghost who is attacking the villagers, and the link with the Castle Coris, where the Baroness Coris has died, murdered by her husband, or so the villagers tell you. You will need to find a prayer book, for praying is the only thing that makes the ghost vanish; actually, I found the fact that the ghost is attacking you every dozen or so turns was becoming a bit repetitive and tiring, although part of that may be beta-tester burnout (I was a beta-tester for this game) and trying to adjust macros endlessly. The ghost does end up disappearing, though, so it's not too much of a bother.
You need to enter the castle, but be careful that the game won't let you do this if you don't have all the objects you need later in the castle. This is good for the player, since you won't be able to get stuck without knowing it because you didn't collect the right object (which would have been Cruel), but it can mean that you think you have done everything but the game refuses to let you move on; when/if that happens to you, make sure you have checked *all* the locations (it's hard for the game to hint that you need more objects without giving you hints that would break the fourth wall too hard...). This is probably the most finnicky thing about the game.
The part where you're in the castle is my favourite part of the game; all the objects you have are useful and all clicks into place, except a minor annoyance (you need to (Spoiler - click to show)find a wire to pick locks with if you don't want to be stuck). The game has a nice sense of progression there, where finding/rescuing an inhabitant of the castle will open new areas of the castle to exploration ; this leads to a very nice buildup to the rather epic end of the chapter, which is one or two puzzles away from the end of the game.
Once again, this is a classical fantasy game with lots of (fair) puzzles and an interesting setting, different from "The Axe of Kolt" but just as enjoyable. The game is shorter, about 15 hours of play ; combined with the very good implementation, with lots of scenery objects to build the setting and some helpful (though the hints can be subtle) messages, and "The Spectre of Castle Coris" is a very good sequel!
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