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There were two things I really disliked about this game. First of all, and by far the most important, there is a huge amount of violence in the story. [...] The second thing that hurt Fort Aegea for me is the spell casting. You have a few spells you can cast which have very unique effects. However, the problem is that almost every single puzzles solution involves casting one of about four spells. [...]
I think the best thing this game has going for it is the completeness of the world. It is a fairly detailed world model and it feels very real with the exception of the description of the dragon that sounds like it came straight from Dungeons and Dragons or one of its imitators.
-- Adam Myrow
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>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction
Most of the game is really fun -- it has several good puzzles and action sequences, a nice propulsive plot, and some surprising and well-drawn details. In addition, the game employs spellcasting, which is a kick -- there are lots of moments that measure up to anything in Enchanter, and the spells have the added virtue of being particularly well-suited to the character and thus helping to further define her. The game felt quite well-tested and proofread to me -- I found a few syntactical errors here and there, and maybe one or two bugs, but on the other side there are a number of rather complicated effects that the game produces with admirable smoothness.
Oh, and lest I forget, Fort Aegea has some of the most gorgeous feelies I've ever seen with an amateur game, hand-drawn maps that positively exude Tolkien. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this game to anyone who enjoys Dungeons-and-Dragons-influenced fantasy IF, especially games in the Enchanter vein.
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A large chunk of the game is about running away, which makes a very nice motivation. However, the timing is extremely strict, which means that you learn by dying - again and again and again. Further, it can be quite cruel: if you don't pick up necessary but unobvious objects before you're on the run, you won't have a chance afterwards. A couple of minor bugs contribute to these problems (on one possible route, you can go 'west' into a room, but you can't go 'east' out of it - and trying to do so costs you the one-turn margin of error you have).
So, not to my taste - I think the time pressure could be reduced, or the puzzle solutions more heavily clued, to provide a better game experience. Which is a pity, since the story the author wants to tell looks interesting (albeit, as Paul O'Brian says in his review, with large chunks of setting taken straight from Dungeons & Dragons).
Fort Aegea is a well made game about a priestess dealing with a dragon. After a brief prologue, you confront a dragon who challenges you to evade them for a day, or else they will kill all virgins in the area.
The map has 4 subareas that you can run off too. Each contains its own miniature quest. Some are much easier than others.
This game has unusual amounts of violence, in the sense that many people die in scenarios that would not kill them in most IF games.
Recommended for fantasy fans.
You awaken to a wonderful day after a good night's sleep, ready to begin your duties as druid-priestess of Fort Aegea.
Alas, the day has not progressed far before life in your orderly settlement is disturbed by the arrival of the Green Dragon Phixio. He demands four thirty-year-old virgins to fulfill the conditions of an age-old pact (which you had no idea about, seeing that Fort Aegea was not yet built the last time Phixio came to eat some people from this area).
The introductory part of Fort Aegea made me want to play a longer simulationist game in this setting. As priestess, you are healer and spiritual helper to the inhabitants of a peaceful grain-processing settlement. You settle disputes between inhabitants and oversee the overall functioning of the harvest and distribution of the crops.
There are some books in your room with textdumps of background information about the history and geography of the game world. Reading these is not necessary for the game, but I enjoyed the wider view they provided very much.
This part of the game is very deeply implemented. Since your time before the arrival of the dragon is limited, I restarted several times to poke around in all corners of the town and try to see as much as possible. I encountered some trumy pleasant surprises.
The pace of the game changes radically once the Green Dragon shows up. As a wager to stall him, you must stay alive until nightfall. You are granted a small headstart to outrun the beast or hide long enough.
From a central hub location, you have immediate access to four areas. In each one, there is a straightforward/railroaded path through a few puzzles and back to the hub. The difficulty lies in finding the right sequence of moves before the dragon catches up. To accomplish this as the player, there will be a lot of try-die-repeat and even more UNDOing.
My recommendation: be sure to have a saved game at the hub and just take the deaths as they come.
Most of the puzzles are clever enough, some on the other hand are rather obscure. Aside from run-of-the-mill adventure techniques, you have a variety of spells at your disposal. The spells are based on a druids attunement with nature (water- and plantbending instead of burning the place down). They fit nicely with the puzzles without feeling too much like being custom-built solutions for one specific problem.
The writing is good. I personally found it too detailed and distanced to really pull me along emotionally, but it does a good job of painting a vivid image of the surroundings.
Similarly to The Jewel of Knowledge (which plays in the same world), a very enjoyable game in an interesting setting.
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