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About the Story
A modernized version of Tim Hartnell's Werewolves and Wanderer text adventure from the wonderful book "Creating Adventure Games On Your Computer". I personally own this book, and have looked at it on and off for years. When I started learning Inform 7 I decided to use one of the games in this book as my framework!
Considering the source, one should expect this to be very old-fashioned -- and it is. Descriptions are minimal. The setting is stark and lacks atmosphere. There is no particular explanation for how things got to where they are. Combat is randomized, and is affected by the weapons the player happens to be carrying when he attacks a monster, but otherwise uncontrollable once it starts. There's also not much one could describe as a puzzle here. One wanders from room to room, picking up treasures and killing monsters, until one reaches the far side of the castle and has one's final score totted up.
Looked at another way, the whole game could be an optimization puzzle, to find the best route through the game to collect all the treasures and kill all the monsters while spending as little as possible on supplies and rations. (Hunger is implemented in this game, but in an unusual way: instead of counting down per turn, the player loses strength each time he travels from room to room, and can regain it only by eating rations, which cost $2 each.)
Personally, I didn't find it enough fun to want to play over and over in search of a best path, but some people might.
If this were a modern game, I'd give this two stars; considering the source, I'm leaving it unrated.
When we are playing and reviewing this game, we must remember that Hartnell created it as a example game for he's book; "Creating Adventure Games On Your Computer", published at 1983. Naturally it means that game versatility and magnitude are limited so, that source is readable even for peoples who are starting to learn program these things.
Hartnell does not waste time to explain why game character is where he happens to be, instead player is placed to the castle after simple shopping period. After this, mission is to find out of the cave, while finding treasures and killing few monsters.
Eventhough i do not recommend this game for experienced text-adventurers, this could be a good start for newbies in this genre. Player does not need to wonder complex word combinations, instead everything possible, is possible with one letter commands, such as "P" for PICK UP, "F" for FIGHT or "N" as "NORTH".
Treasures and monsters are placed in random locations of the castle in each new game. This does not give much of replay value, since goal of the game (how to get out of there) is excatly same in each game.
However, this game is good example to see from where text-adventures has been developed.
It is actually hard to rate this game, since it's original goal was not to be as good text-adventure as possible, but to be a example game which is easy to explain for peoples who wants to create text-adventures.
If you have played these games more than few times, then Werewolfs and Wandered does not give you much pleasure, unless you want to play a simple game while you are having a coffee break at work.
For peoples who are just starting to play these games, or maybe wants to get familiar for this genre, i suggest this one purely because of it's simplicity, but also got to remember them that this is not something for what compare more advanced games which are good to try out after few periods with this game.
Peoples who might want to learn how to create simple text-adventures (and maybe more complex ones at later), this is also a great start.