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About the Story
You are a penniless ex-mercenary soldier, reduced to wandering the land and doing odd-jobs in return for food and a place to sleep. You have just left the town of Greenwych and you have hitched a ride on a haywain. The driver tells you that you might have luck finding gainful employment in the village of Hengemire.
2nd Place - ADRIFT 5 Intro Comp 2012
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Number of Reviews: 3
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The Axe of Kolt is what text adventures is all about. Set in a standard fantasy setting with wizards, dwarfs, witches etc., the game is huge but divided into four parts so that it never become unmanageable. Though the built-in map cannot be attributed to the author (it is a standard feature of ADRIFT games), it adds significantly to the playability of such a large game, which boasts a little more than 200 locations. (NB: The online game does not provide the same map functionality as the downloadable versions.)
The writing does the job, creating an exciting atmosphere. The systematic use of text colors adds to this. The game is tough though. Everything should be examined and searched. The puzzles range from easy to hard, and most puzzles are fair, though there were one or two puzzles, which were a bit farfetched near the end. Luckily the implementation is good and there is a VOCAB command for each part, inspiring the player when stuck with a list of relevant verbs. If everything fails the player can send an e-mail to the author (provided when typing help). All in all, this game is a very rewarding experience and reaches the five star rating.
For anyone who likes puzzle-heavy old-school text adventures, this is highly recommended.
This is cliché fantasy galore and it's great!
Step one: set expectations to sorcerers, dwarves, a magic axe and all that.
Step two: don your Hero-attire and rush in!
Step three: be stopped in your tracks by this or that puzzle that is cleverer than you thought, wander through a forest searching for poultry, witness a demonic sacrifice...
It's good fun and the Hero of the day should count his blessings that you're the one guiding him because there's a few hard and complex puzzles. (Heroes aren't all that bright in the noggin, you know).
It's also fantastically long. This is one to sink your teeth into. Clear an hour a day in your schedule for a month to play this. You might get to the end by then.
AoK does show its age: some non-interactive forest-locations all alike, lots of death, some learn by trial-and-death, timed sequences. I didn't mind any of that because: fun!
In the end, it's a great straightforward fantasy romp that had me tied to the screen for some weeks.
The "Axe of Kolt" is a legendary axe that you must recover and give to King Kelson, who has been captured by the evil Xixons ; a standard fantasy setting, played straight and nicely. This ADRIFT version is a remastering of the original ZX Spectrum game which came out in the early 90s; it is not exactly the same game, with some puzzles having been reworked or streamlined, and I think also adapted to modern sensitivities i.e. nicer to the player (which is good!). The game is Polite (or maybe a bit Tough), and you can die quite a few times (though never unfairly), but nothing that can't be solved by undoing a couple of times; the deaths themselves are rather 'pulpy' and I find them enjoyable.
The story itself is nothing special, but the setting is detailed and expansive; there are lots of characters, events, and locations, none of which feel forced or out of place. The world has diverse locations (each of the four acts has its own identity, so to speak), and everything is very thouroughly implemented (disclaimer: I was a beta tester for this game), which makes the whole thing alive. The puzzles themselves are fairly well balanced, though not too easy; most of them are well-clued, although there is inevitably a couple of 'read-the-author's-mind' moments, and there are no 'guess-the-verb' problems and other frustrations like that thanks to the great implementation. It's a long game: each of the four acts will probably take half a dozen hours, and there are a lot of puzzles; the game is also pretty linear, which means you might get stuck sometimes.
Overall, "The Axe of Kolt" is a long, classical text adventure with a nice setting, very good implementation and fair puzzles; it's an old school game that avoids a lot of the old-school pitfalls, and thus suited to modern sensitivities.
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