Fort Aegea

by Francesco Bova

Episode 2 of Jewel of Knowledge
Fantasy
2002

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Phixio the gassy dragon., March 4, 2022
by Rovarsson (Belgium)
Related reviews: Puzzler, Fantasy

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.