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About the Story
Bluex the divine king of Surya has decreed for you to locate the Arch Mage Wizard Necron. Necron built an enchanted castle deep within an ancient forest to protect himself and his people. Esentially, you are being sent to investigate since no communication with the outside has occured for over twently years. Your master gave you a dragon skin tome from his own private library, and a magic bag of holding. The magic bag allows you to place an unlimited amount of things into it. As a magic user your primary ability is to cast spells. By collecting experience points, you may progress upwards in "level". Your odyssey pits you against the supernatural forces that oppose your efforts to reach deep within Necron's Keep. Read on, adventurer. Your quest awaits!
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Whenever I play a game that makes big-time typos (roll playing) and tells me I have scored more than it was possible to score, I know that I'm in for a bad time. Such is the case with Necron's Keep, another game in the long list of games that have never graced a beta-tester's fingertips.
Despite the typo, the game starts well, nearly very well. However, once the intro text is done, you're in a forest missing your sense of direction. That's not very realistic or very entertaining. In fact, it's straight out of the instadeath (TM) school of bad DMing. You remember those DMs, don't you? The sadists who took particular delight in killing off characters that took you months to level? Necron's Keep steals a few ideas from their campaigns.
But wait, there's combat, a true test of any role-playing game. This system seems to be based on the AD&D system, but Necron's Keep informs you of the Actual Die Rolls. Yes. When you attack, you get to read your to hit die roll, the monster's to hit die roll, and the die rolls for the damage! That just doesn't make for a good gaming experience, and decent DMs didn't tell the players about the mechanics anyways. They'd say something like, "The kobold is really staggering now, after your mace connected with his skull."
But that's not the only annoying thing about the combat system. There's the assumption that your character always attacks whatever baddies he finds, which means when you're wounded, you'll soon be dead. That's right. In Necron's Keep, a character with half of his hp gone automatically attacks anything he finds!
Then there other gameplay issues -- for example, not being able to use undo even though the option is provided when you die. When you pick up objects, the game tells you the room from which they were picked up; why that is necessary, I don't know. That along with combat might lead you to think that information overload rules the day. Not so. Most of the information provided is useless or annoying, yet the help is a threadbare affair. What's really happening is a kind of textual anorexia nervosa.
The descriptions are decent (except for one plagiarized from Zork), but the grammar is haphazard at best with typos, misused words, missing punctuation marring the experience. The points and what they do are obscure, the puzzles simple, and the combat, maddening.
All in all, Necron's Keep comes across as half-baked. I'm sure that the author can polish this, and I encourage him to do so; until then, there are just too many typos, bugs, and annoyances to make it worth your while.
This is version 18 of this page, edited by Dan Welch on 23 January 2019 at 1:02am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item