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Castle Adventure

Posted at 11:42 on March 20th, 2010 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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This game is going to be added with a review by Johann67 today. HOTUD also has it. Here is the review:
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One of the most memorable ASCII games of the bygone BSS era, Castle Adventure is a fun parser-based maze adventure designed by Kevin Bales, and later released ("stolen" in fact) by Keypunch as part of their Swords and Sorcery package (see below).

Similar to Atari's Adventure and many other early Adventures/RPGs, your objective in the game is to collect all valuables and complete all given tasks. A perfect score is 1,550 points, but it is possible to finish the game with lower score. Although the game looks like a very out of date title, with ASCII characters and simplistic gameplay, Castle Adventure is actually both more memorable and deeper than most ASCII games of the time. For starters, room descriptions are quite detailed and well-written. Second, the game is played in real time, which means monsters will not wait for you to type something before they attack (as it would be in a turn-based game). This makes fighting appropriately exciting. Lastly, the game is much deeper than most other maze games because it has puzzles. These require you to type the right commands into the parser, like in a typical text adventure, such as "show cross to vampire." Although most puzzles are obvious, there are some obscure ones that will stump you for some time. In a nod to RPG genre, you can only carry a limited number of items at any given time.

All in all, Castle Adventure is one of the best examples of what an all-text, freeware game coded way back in 1985 is capable of. If you miss the days of BBS, here is something that stands the test of time. Highly recommended!

Note: The subsequent Keypunch re-release (with name changed to Golden Wombat) was illegally included in Keypunch's Swords and Sorcery commercial release without the author's consent.

I'd say this is a '4' or a '3'. Many of the wordings are very carefully chosen to refer only to the historical importance of the game: "most memorable" (instead of "best") and even "highly recommended" seems to refer to "if you miss the days of the BBS". Any opinions?
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 20:41 on March 21st, 2010 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Alright, I give up. I've seen a few regulars online since posting this. Nobody bothered to reply even with a single line. The only conclusion this will lead me to is just skipping the attempt to get more opinions in the future. Instead, I'll just do what I want. Please don't complain later.
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 23:43 on March 21st, 2010 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I don't say anything because I don't see any problem with the score (and didn't see the "Any opinions?" comment).
Posted at 00:18 on March 22nd, 2010 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Although it comes a little bit late, and you seem to have given up hope on some (or furture) feedback: The last few days I've been giving the HotU reviews some thoughts, especially the scoring (besides the sometimes unique English). My opinion: When considering the scoring always drop the superlative. Ignore all "best", "most", "must", "highly recommended", "of all time" (sic!!) etc. Especially ask yourself if there is anything besides the "best", is there any reason for all the lauding, is there any substance. Take negative aspects serious, even if only mentioned as a sidenote. Else you will almost always end up with a straight 5 or 6.

In this case, the 4 appears to be adequate, because it seems, the game has a little bit more to offer than the standard ASCII game (real-time mode, detailed descriptions, deeper puzzles).
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Dear Sir, I object strongly with the last thread, and the next post.
Posted at 03:00 on March 22nd, 2010 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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In general: If I post something here, it means I'm unsure and I want feedback. Even an explicit "that's ok" is great. Nothing, on the other hand, is hard to interpret. It can mean anything from "I don't care" to "that's ok". How am I supposed to know?

When I say something like "I give up", please don't think I won't ever listen to feedback again - if I gave up completely that easily, the site wouldn't exist anymore ;) What I meant in this case was that I'll post the review without waiting any longer.

Originally posted by Herr M. at 00:18 on March 22nd, 2010:
The last few days I've been giving the HotU reviews some thoughts, especially the scoring (besides the sometimes unique English). My opinion: When considering the scoring always drop the superlative. Ignore all "best", "most", "must", "highly recommended", "of all time" (sic!!) etc. Especially ask yourself if there is anything besides the "best", is there any reason for all the lauding, is there any substance. Take negative aspects serious, even if only mentioned as a sidenote. Else you will almost always end up with a straight 5 or 6.

Very good point. Obviously, we're still in the early stages of this project and there's still work to be done to 'get a feeling' for these reviews. Sure, I've read them all before, but this is from a different point of view, for a different purpose. And suddenly, I start noticing things in them which I didn't when I read them only superficially ;)

One thing, for example, I have a really hard time evaluating is which statements are of purely historical importance and which refer to 'timeless' qualities. And related to that: How important each of these two categories would be for the reviewer. Meaning: Would the reviewer give a game which was "great in its time" a very good rating just because of that? Or is current quality necessary as well?

Many reviews seem to be very enthusiastic about qualities "for its time", but they don't say much about how the game plays nowadays.
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 03:13 on March 22nd, 2010
Posted at 20:14 on March 22nd, 2010 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
Many reviews seem to be very enthusiastic about qualities "for its time", but they don't say much about how the game plays nowadays.


Exactly! Sometimes it's pure nostalgia, as if the reviewer was more focused on his memories of the great time he/she spent playing, instead of the real qualities of the game. But while this makes fitting them into a rating sometimes rather difficult, they are still quite interesting to read and take you back to those times when more than two colors was the best graphics ever. ;)
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Dear Sir, I object strongly with the last thread, and the next post.
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