Review by Genesis_Dragon

Reviewed: 11/21/05

Don't bother with this game

I have to admit, I had slightly higher expectations. I don’t go in thinking any game is going to be a great game; however, I expect it to hold me for a while. Dungeon Master fails to do this. It gets tedious quite quickly, and really has no forgiving attributes.

Story

Nothing to speak of. They’re going down in the dungeon to beat up some big evil guy. That’s about it for the story.

Gameplay

Horrible. The gameplay is so flawed that it’s painful.

For starters, you have a cursor. It moves slowly across the screen. You need to use it to execute nearly every command. It’s very cumbersome. There are shortcuts for certain commands, but they’re difficult to use in themselves, in fact so much so that the cursor is preferable. There’s also a “move mode” where you can press the D-Pad for movement, but this renders the cursor unusable until you leave move mode. This makes acting on your feet almost impossible, and with real time going while you’re trying to do this, it can be deadly.

The character layout itself is passable. Again, shortcuts for some of the menu commands would be nice, but at least they’re not infuriating. Each character has a limited carrying capacity and weight bearing, lots of different stats, and food and water levels. You have to keep track of everything.

The major problem with this game lies in the play itself. You don’t get to choose dungeons, it’s the same one over and over. This isn’t a problem for me in RPGs where you play in lots of dungeons and they don’t change during gameplay. But when the sole focus of your quest is a single dungeon, never having it change removes a lot of the allure.

Music, Sound, and Graphics

The music is bad in two ways in this game. First, it isn’t constant. This is very annoying; you should either have constant music or no music. Having it pop up intermittently is ridiculous and superfluous. Second, the music itself is unappealing. I’d prefer not to listen to it in the first place.

The sounds can be annoying at times; however, they don’t jolt you like they can in similar games, so that’s a plus.

There’s not much I can say about the graphics. They’re not excellent, but they’re no worse than most for that time period.

Play Time and Replay Value

It’ll take you some time to get through. However, there’s very minimal replay value after you’ve beaten it. Why go through it again? It’s the same dungeon, over and over. This is the main failing of the game: lack of variation.

Conclusion

There’s an old computer game I used to play, called Scarab of Ra. I don’t play it any more, as it’s become too old to accommodate the advanced systems, though there might be an updated version somewhere compatible with OSX. It’s similar in many aspects to Dungeon Master. It’s much more primitive than Dungeon Master, but it’s also got more play value. The dungeon changes each time you play, and there’s no limit to the number of floors you can play (that I know of). You only had one person, making an excursion into a pyramid, and it wasn’t so hard to play. If this game had been more like Scarab of Ra, it might have been successful. But it wasn’t, and here we are.

Rating:   1.0 - Terrible

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