Although the legendary Zork franchise and the likes of Lurking Horror might get most of the awards as far as Infocom's classic text adventures go, Enchanter is quite possibly the single greatest title from this legendary developer. It shows them at the height of their powers in terms of narrative and puzzles, and is about as well crafted an adventure as you could hope to find, so if you have any interest in the genre, grab this now. It's set in the same universe as the Zork games and follows on from the original trilogy, so if you've played those you'll probably get the most out of this one but even if you haven't there's much to enjoy here. The story finds you in the role of a rather dim apprentice Enchanter, and it's your job to save the land from the evil machinations of Krill where other more experienced Enchanters have failed. So, with just your rudimentary knowledge of magic, it's time to set forth and discover your inner hero. Gameplay is your usual text adventure style, where you read various text passages, explore by using the text parser, and solve puzzles, but there's a very clever addition of magic spells here and which are learned as you venture forth. Enchanter really is superb, right from the start. Although the plot is familiar stuff, it's told with the usual Infocom style, laden with wit and intelligence and which is very well told. It's not an easy game, so you should probably have some experience with this sort of thing before tackling this one, but if you are up to the challenge, this is one of the best in the genre.
Fine example of interactive fiction
The Zork series of interactive fiction by Infocom is legendary in the games industry for its advanced narratives and interfaces which made it ahead of its time. Enchanter was intended to be the fourth in the Zork franchise but instead forms the first part of a new trilogy, with the sequels being Sorcerer and Spellbreaker. Story-wise (which, let's face it, is everything in a text adventure), Enchanter is nothing original but manages to be incredibly strong and compelling nonetheless, and weaves a complex and fairly epic fantasy tale. The evil warlock Krill seeks to spread chaos and destruction but none of the more experienced enchanters are brave enough to stop him. Instead it falls to the player to step up and make their way to Krill's castle and bring an end to his plans. This is done in typical text adventure fashion, where written descriptions create a mental picture of the environment for the player and with various commands input to explore, collect and use items, and interact with other characters. Enchanter's system is particularly sophisticated for its time, and understands over 700 words, making the game highly challenging to complete. One of its particular innovations was the spell system which required players to learn and memorise spells and while it is slightly cumbersome to start with, it soon becomes second nature to use. Enchanter is well up to the standards of the previous Zork games, with an excellently written, if somewhat cliched, narrative, decent puzzles and plenty of text-based exploration. It is more serious than its predecessors, and lacks the overt humour, but remains an excellent introduction to the joys of interactive fiction.
Go to castle, save the world.. You know the drill.
Enchanter is in fact the first game in the Enchanter trilogy that is actually a part of the Zork universe, but a lot more serious than its spiritual forefather. This text adventure game follows the life and adventure of an unnamed novice yet ambitious enchanter who is sent to the castle of the bad guy called Krill who is - of course - determined to destroy the world for his own purposes. We can't that happen, so our young hero must save the day. The story might be a bit typical but really fits in the genre and really sets the mood for the duration of the game. The gameplay of the game is mostly reading text and replying to it in short sentences, but the basis of the gameplay itself is using before memorized spells to destroy your enemies including the boss. The entire adventure carries the same spirit and atmosphere from Zork and there are a few witty comments or two, but generally the game is more oriented on itself rather than on its humor. The final impressions would be that Enchanter is a really high quality adventure game that will do wonders for you if you have a wide imagination.