Successful games like Zelda, Ultima, Baldur's Gate and others dazzle us with an atmospheric fantasy world, challenge by fighting against hostile forces and offer a lot of experience for further survival. The top-down perspective – i.e. moving on a kind of world map – is a striking common feature of the aforementioned classics. The player has a top-down view of the environment and his avatar, but without taking over the avatar's field of vision and thus his role – as is usual in 3D shooters. In this kind of flight over the actual scene, the player is a bit further away from the action and gets a more abstract picture of the game's progress. The mentioned game titles nevertheless manage to captivate the player without much effort and integrate him into the story. This is achieved by the perfection of the well-known technical elements like graphics, music, game mechanics and also the psychological incentives, which reward a fight with progress in the story and increase the experience points.
Martian Dreams is the second (and sadly also the last) part of Worlds of Adventure, a spin-off series of Ultima games set in our universe instead of Britannia. Like the predecessor The Savage Empire it draws inspiration from pulp novels and science fiction stories. Especially those tales full of excitement with heroic guys (and occasionally girls) on the cover who single-handedly save the world/planet by fighting hordes of enemies in the most exotic places imaginable. This time you set forth on a journey to Mars, so it pays homage to novels like Burroughs’ Barsoom stories, Well‘s The War of the Worlds and Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon.
If you were to judge a book strictly by its name, today’s title sets the bar quite high: The Citadel of Chaos frankly sounds rather cool. It promises whimsical magic, rolls of the tongue and hints at even greater things to come. So, the question we are going to ask today is: Does the content match its wrapping?
Really? The name seems somewhat generic to me. Even its predecessor had a bit more character. Never mind, let us dive right into the prologue: The sinister Balthus Dire (nomen est omen) is threatening the helpless, honest people of a nearby village. So, this time you are going to be a really ‘good’ guy.