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Challenging but original interactive fiction

This rather obscure little piece of interactive fiction from Palace Software, developers of Cauldron, as well as the notorious Barbarian and its sequel Barbarian 2, is actually a highly original game but is unfortunately marred by its extreme complexity. For veterans of interactive adventures like Zork and The Hobbit or for those who like a challenge, this is worth playing but for newcomers to the genre, there are better places to start. Told largely through text, the game weaves a slightly bizarre plot where the player controls four superheroes as they embark on a epic quest to prevent the evil Demoniak from entering our world through his gateway. Story-wsie, the game is a blast of fresh air compared to most such adventures, which are typically fantasy affairs populated by cliches of wizards, orcs and elves, but Demoniak doesn't stop the originality with its plot. Another neat and highly important feature, is your ability to take over other character, making use of their abilities, items and appearance to carry out actions and enter locations that other characters might be not be able to, thus allowing you to complete puzzles and gain new items. However, while this feature is generally well implemented, it also creates one of the game's biggest problems, as there are certain puzzles which have to be completed by a specific character, but who exactly this is, is not always clear. This results in many puzzles becoming highly frustrating as you simply wander around trying to figure out who to take over. This is a real shame, as otherwise the game is well done, with good writing, mostly engaging puzzles and a decent parser system. If you've played this sort of game before, you will find enjoyment here, but the difficulty will prove off-putting for others, so they are recommended to start elsewhere.
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Demoniak (pc game)
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Images gallery:

  • Character profile
  • Some background
  • Bizarre stuff
  • In the lab
  • Meet the crew
  • Hey Doc!
  • Exploring the lab
  • Grab the gear
  • Hand out the gear
  • Game introduction title screen - cover
  • Is he going to eat the skull?!