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Review by
Steve Cooke
(The White Wizard)

 

 
Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Spellbreaker
1985 Infocom
By Dave Lebling
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the twelfth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: March 13th, 1986).
 


What a month! First there's a new Infocom game (full details below) and as if that wasn't enough, Melbourne House suddenly leave us all gasping as they actually RELEASE Lord of the Rings! I kid you not, fellow Wizards, I actually have a copy loaded up at this very moment and you lucky lot can read all about it before going out and parting with your hard-earned Zorkmids. Then there were games from St Brides, Telarium, and Tony Treadwell . . . Oh well, I think you get the picture -- mucho games and mucho work for Ol' Whitey, who will now shut up and let you get on with it . . .
.

SPELLBREAKER
Infocom, 19.95 disk only
 

t's not often that we Wizards have the pleasure of reviewing a new Infocom game, but the Gods are obviously smiling on us this month, because a copy of Spellbreaker has just arrived in the post.
.

Spellbreaker is the third game in the Enchanter series -- the previous two releases were Enchanter and Sorcerer. Ol' Whitey has never actually played Enchanter, but Sorcerer (written by Steve Meretsky) is an old favourite of mine. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it's my all-time favourite game of the 'magic-and-mystery' variety.

Spellbreaker, however, is not written by Meretsky, but on first acquaintance it appears to be equally as mesmerising. The descriptions are long and excellently written, and in the very first few seconds of the game at least four characters deliver speeches of almost a screen-full in length! They then get turned into newts, but that's another story.

The basic idea behind Spellbreaker is thematically similar to the first two games. Somewhere in the background lurks a hideously powerful Evil Power, who in this case is very bad news for the Frobozz Corporation. Frobozzco are purveyors of magical equipment, but the Enchanters (who are their biggest customers) are having a spot of bother with their spells. In fact, the whole spell-structure of modern society appears to be collapsing, as the power of the Enchanters' magic steadily weakens. Can you stop the rot? Of course you can . . .

Well I certainly couldn't -- at least not at my first sitting, anyway. Spellbreaker is labelled 'Expert' level by Infocom, which means that they consider it particularly difficult to crack. It's certainly in a different league to Wishbringer (Introductory level) and quite a bit trickier than Sorcerer. You find yourself having to cast spells left, right and centre, right at the beginning of the game in order to make any progress at all -- and the going doesn't get any easier, believe me!

Nevertheless, Dave Lebling (co-author of Zork and Enchanter) has done an excellent job. Dave was responsible for Suspect, a real tour de force of character interaction, and the influence of this game can be seen at times in Spellbreaker, where the characters play a rather more significant role than in Sorcerer, for example

Yet another Infocom masterpiece -- need I say more?

 
Atmosphere 89%
Interaction 93%
Lasting Interest 94%

Value for Money

86%

Overall

92%
 


If you want a walkthrough, visit
Jacob Gunness
' Classic Adventures Solution Archive or
Martin Brunner's C64 Adventure Game Solutions Site

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (26 Apr 2004)
There were no screenshots in the original review.

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