Dark Ages volume I - Prince of Destiny

Action 1991 Dos Scenario Software Platformer

Poor and dull fantasy adventure

Another early example from the Apogee stable, original home of the Commander Keen and Duke Nukem series, Dark Ages is a similar slice of action/platforming shenanigans but which is unfortunately rather poor and lacking in interest. It's a fantasy tale that tells a familiar story of an evil wizard and a banished prince who has now returned to claim his throne and free the land from the myriad undead creatures which now stalk its once peaceful fields and forests. If the story is recognisable from any number of games, books and films, then the actual gameplay is even more so, borrowing as it does from the aforementioned games as well as others like Ghosts & Goblins, Savage and many more. It's a side scroller where you carry out the usual actions, like running, jumping and of course slaying monsters, while searching for Wise Men who will give you an item which then opens up the hidden exit. You do have access to some magical spells, including an electrical bolt, a sort of boomerang and a powerful but short-ranged mega-blast but these don't really add a great deal to what is essentially a pretty dull and uninteresting game. It really isn't anything we haven't seen a million times before but this time there's just no personality or innovation, while the challenge level is almost non-existent, making the game's lasting appeal very low. The action is all very basic and mindless while the visuals are notably poor, with jerky animation and a lack of any detail. This is the first episode of three which combine to form the whole story, with the others being The Undead Kingdom and Dungeons of Doom, but they aren't any better so really this is one trilogy you can skip altogether.

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