Simple old-school adventuring
Text adventure fans might be tempted to check out this obscure little game, expecting the usual kind of puzzles, questing and complex storylines as seen in the likes of Zork, Guild of Thieves and The Pawn. However, what we actually have here is a very simple experience that might be of interest to those curious about the genre, as it lacks the frustration and confusion of many more complex games. There's little in the way of story here, but what is present revolves around the titular hermit and his mysterious secret, which turns out to be a fabulous treasure. The player takes on the role of a character who wishes to get his filthy mitts on the gold and which requires them explore a fantasy world, meeting various characters along the way and who must be dealt with in the correct manner in order to proceed. There are of course plenty of puzzles here but they are generally of a fairly simple nature, requiring little more than finding an item then locating the correct person who requires it. You navigate your way in traditional fashion, entering commands via the text interface but like the puzzles, the parser is pretty simple stuff, lacking the sophistication of the best of Infocom's efforts, such The Lurking Horror. Hermit's Secret isn't terrible by any stretch, it's simply hampered by its own underwhelming lack of ambition. It is a good bet for any newcomers who are wary of the complexity of the genre, thanks to its accessibility but any veterans might be better off looking elsewhere for their text adventure thrills.