Dunjonquest: Temple of Apshai

RPG 1982 Dos Automated Simulations Adventure style

Historically important and fascinating RPG

One of the earliest examples of computer RPGS, and the first in a series which includes Upper Reaches of Apshai and Curse of Ra, this classic dungeon crawler makes for a fascinating excursion into history. It's a sort of cross between D&D-style adventuring and rogue-likes such as Rogue and laid down the foundations of much of what was to follow. You start out at an inn where you create a character with various stats and get to spend money on armour, weapons and gear. Once that is done, it's on to the game proper and gameplay follows the traditional overhead view of the dungeon, with the player moving around room by room, exploring, seeking out treasure and slaying beasties. In contrast to rogue-likes, levels are not randomised but what makes the game even more interesting is the way that rooms are given descriptions, providing hints at what may be found and adding to the atmosphere. once you get into combat, it plays out in turn-based fashion, where you can attack them with close combat weapons, fire arrows or even try to talk to them to avoid going head to head. Despite its apparent crudity, Temple of Asphai is a highly compelling old-school experience. Although you might feel you've seen it before, it's important to remember that much of what followed came from this game, so it stands as an important historical artefact if nothing else. Fortunately though, the gameplay remains addictive and enjoyable, with a real sense of exploration, challenging combat and a nice sense of atmosphere, despite the basic visuals. If you want to venture down memory lane and see where the genre started, this is the route to take.

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