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About the Story
"A somewhat traditional cave crawl." Possession of the long-lost Jewel of Knowledge is said to bring fame, wealth, power, and of course knowledge, but you'll have to beat the extraordinarily high mortality rate for adventurers. And the protectors of the Jewel, the ancient dragons of the sixth layer.
Language: English (en)
Current Version: 2
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 546
Followed by sequel Fort Aegea, by Francesco Bova
A seemingly stereotypical fantasy setup -- a quest to retrieve a jewel granting unlimited power from a dragon's lair -- is used as the backdrop to a rather more human story. After a first-move "puzzle" that's trickier than it was meant to be, the game moves into standard explore-the-cave territory, picking up again at the end when you fight the dragons. An interesting game with expansive, well-written text, if a bit emotionally manipulative at times.
-- R. Serena Wakefield
To be sure, it gives the player considerably more backstory than most of the seminal dungeon-crawl works, and your motivations are considerably more developed. But what really works here is what made the canonical dungeon crawls work, namely good puzzles and a well-described setting; the moments where the author tries to question the assumptions of those traditional dungeon crawls are far less effective.
-- Duncan Stevens
I may be a little biased here, since I was involved in the beta-testing, but I would thoroughly recommend this as a smashing little game to while away a few hours.
-- Karen Tyers
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Number of Reviews: 1
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A cave, three dragons, a maze and the magical gemstone from the title. Sounds a bit much like a well known fantasy path already trodden into the mud, no?
A classic fantasy adventure is a pleasure to play if it's well made. And The Jewel of Knowledge is well made.
The cave is easily visualized, with three main paths to explore. On the way however, you will need to find and open several secret passageways and get to some hard-to-reach corners.
The maze is subtly hinted with an original solution.
The puzzles are clever without stopping you in your progress too long.
The dragons are impressive and hard to beat.
That makes for an adventure worthy of spending my time on. But! What really lifts The Jewel of Knowledge above your average cave-crawl is the personal perspective it takes to the protagonist and to the entire business of adventuring.
The (minimally) interactive prologue casts a thoughtful light on the entire game. It caused me to feel much more sympathetic towards the protagonist and to understand his personality and motifs better.
The ending tries to rise above cave-crawl expectations too, but doesn't succeed as well. It comes off more as a finger-wagging moral lesson.
Still, very good game.
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