God of Thunder is a Puzzle/Action/Adventure game created by Ron Davis. The first chapter of the game was initially released as shareware by Software Creations in 1993 with a big success. Later, in 2002, the game was released as freeware by Adept Software.
During the game, you are taking the role of Thor, the god of thunder and son of Odin. Odin sends his son to claim back the land of Midgard from his evil half-brother Loki. Loki has taken advantage of Odin's absence in order to take over the land of Midgard and bring terror over the inhabitants of the land with the help of his allies. Now it's up to Thor to free the land from Loki and bring back the safety using his magical hammer named Mjolnir.
God of Thunder contains 3 chapters. At the end of each chapter, Thor must defeat one of Loki's allies. At the first chapter named “Serpent Surprise!”, Thor must defeat Jormangund, the Midgard Serpent. In the second chapter named “Non-stick Nognir”, he has to battle against the Prince of the Underworld, Nognir. Finally, in the third and last chapter named “Lookin' for Loki”, he will confront his half-brother Loki for the final battle.
During his travel through the land of Midgard, Thor will fight against various enemies from cats, bats and skunks to trolls, giants, elfs and instant killing worms. He will travel through rivers, caves and mountains solving a lot of puzzles. He will meet with interest people in various villages and he will increase his magical skills using various magical objects that he will find during his adventures.
The controls of the game are really simple. You can move Thor on the screen using the arrow keys. Using the ALT button, Thor throws his hammer. With SPACE, you can bring up the inventory. Finally, with CTRL, you can use the currently selected item.
At the bottom of the screen, there are indicators regarding the status of the game. There are two bars for Thor's life (red) and manna (green). Also, the number of the collected jewels and keys are shown as well.
The magical hammer is the main weapon of Thor and can be used either for killing various enemies or to activate switches that can help him to solve puzzles in order to advance to the next screen. Beside the switches, Thor can also move blocks and boulders in order to find out the path towards the next screen. Also, he can use the hammer to destroy bushes that sometimes block his way.
Puzzles are in general easy and you don't need to have special skills to solve them. Sometimes they can be very frustrating and require a lot of thinking and several attempts to solve. This isn't in general a bad thing since you can become obsessed with some screens and solving them is really rewarding.
During the game, Thor can take advice from his father Odin by interacting with some magical yellow spheres he can fing in various places. He can also collect diamonds that can be used to buy items or be traded to get valuable information from people. Thor can also find keys that can be used to unlock some blocks with the key sign on them. When Thor uses a magical item, the manna level is decreased. He can restore his manna bar by collecting magical filters or by interacting with the "Angel of Manna". Similarly, his life bar can be restored either by collecting apples or by interacting with the "Angel of Life".
Finally, Thor can speak to several people who usually reveal critical information regarding the progress of the game. So it's very important to speak to everyone. But beware of the Loki's Guard Men.
In general, the gameplay reminds me a lot of the first Legend of Zelda game from Nintendo with much more emphasis on puzzling.
The graphics of the game are OK but not so impressive. They are good compared to the standards of that era, but it isn't anything special. However, they serve their main purpose well, which is to create a good atmosphere for the game to take place in. The sound effects are enjoyable, but the music is repeated and sometimes really frustrating.
God of Thunder is one of the few games of its kind that exists on the PC. It has many similarities with the first Legend of Zelda and if you are a fan of the series, it's definitely worth a try. In general, it's a pleasant game that you can enjoy even today. For me, it's a game that every retro gamer should play at least once.