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(c) 2000 James Burrows

  Review by
Nik Wild
(The Harlequin)


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!

Tower of Despair
1985 Games Workshop
By Russell Clarke, Jamie Thomson, Steve Williams & Mike McKeown

Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the fortieth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 14th, 1988).

It had to happen, I suppose: the well of adventure games for the 64 has dried up -- a situation that can't be blamed on the heat of the British Summer.

Lucky for you then that with a mere rub of my ring I can take you back to a time when adventure games were plentiful . . .

The three distractions from reality I feel deserve a second look are marked at the original price; you may, of course, be able to get your grubby hands on them for much less. Regardless, they are worth every hard-earned Zorkmid and should be part of your collection.

To give you a taste of what is to come and get your saliva glands working, I thought you might like to have a quick look at the Amiga version of Legend Of The Sword from Rainbird. A game to restore faith in the adventure world and one which, when released in July, should work just as well on the 64 -- it was, after all originally written for the 8-bit market.

You may notice the lack of 'Examine All' in this issue. The section has temporarily ceased to be due to your lack of interest. Ii appears that no-one has anything interesting to say about adventures, all the letters received merely pleaded for help: thus the section is -- for the time being -- comatose . . .



Games Workshop, 7.95 cassette only


alnor, Demon-lord Of Darkness, once again resides within the Tower Of Despair. This time his threat to the realm of Aelandor is great -- he now possesses the Ring Of Skulls, an Amulet of evil force with which he gathers malevolent powers to his side. You, the Warrior-Mage of Castle Argent and wielder of the Silver Gauntlet, have been summoned by the Council of Wizards to destroy the Screaming Shadow. Only by finding the legendary Golden Gauntlet and utilising the power of both can Malnor be defeated.

Written using a customised Quill, Tower Of Despair comes in two parts complete with a well-illustrated booklet of the game, which includes maps, a background to the plot and history of Aelandor. The monochromatic pictures in the book require careful examination as they contain clues vital for success in the adventure.

You begin in Castle Argent, your first task being to gather all the supplies you may need to escape to the east with your life. The story subsequently takes you through magical woodlands to prisons of the mind, there to confront stone princesses. Dark Angels, Medusa and finally, Malnor.

Interaction is via verb/noun input -- dated, but it works well enough to prevent frustration. The style of text is Middle-Earthesque and adds to the surreal atmosphere created by the thoughtful prose. Puzzles are difficult in places, requiring two or three commands in the correct order to reach the solution. However, you are taught this method of play by the relatively easy tasks set in the opening locations.

Tower Of Despair stands the test of time well and the dramatic artwork adorning the box will look very snazz on your shelves.

Atmosphere 78%
Interaction 71%
Challenge 75%



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 (19 Aug 2006)
There were no screenshots in the original review.

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