Advanced Xoru

Adventure 1989 Dos Castle Technologies Multimedia novel Puzzle based

Wonderful piece of interactive fiction

Advanced Xoru acts as either a perfect introduction to the world of interactive fiction, or for fans of Zork and the like, turns out to be a little known but wonderful gem. While the game uses a fairly traditional fantasy backdrop, its inventiveness in its puzzles and the quality of its writing mean that it transcends any cliches associated with the genre to become a thoroughly fulfilling and enjoyable adventure. The basic premise of the game requires players to explore several levels of a dungeon environment with the ultimate aim of finding and defeating the Ebony Titan. This being a text adventure, there are of course no graphics, with players instead navigating their way through the world of Xoru via well-written and evocative descriptions of their surroundings, while interacting with monsters, objects and other characters via a fairly advanced parser system in conjunction with the arrow keys to move around. For RPG fans, there are five character classes to choose from, including paladin, barbarian and shadow tracker, and this adds a nice amount of replay value as each class will be able to solve puzzles in a different manner. Another intriguing feature is the move limit, which sounds restrictive but which actually just adds to the challenge in good way, as certain commands like LOOK do not count towards your limit. A big draw of any interactive fiction is the puzzles, and fortunately Advanced Xoru scores highly here too, with those on display being logical an fair, but perhaps not quite as inventive as those of Beyond Zork. However, this really is a minor niggle and in all other respects, this is a first rate piece of text-based adventuring which deserves to be played.

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