Classic spin on the rogue-like
The Kingdom of Kroz series is a lesser known set of classics, rogue-like dungeon explorers that place greater emphasis on player skill than the sheer randomness which often plagues other such games. As such, they make for fine examples for fans of such things as Rogue and Hack, with other titles in the series such as Temple of Kroz and Dungeons of Kroz also well worth seeking out. This one, rather confusingly, actually seems to be the first game in the series but an enhanced version of the original with extra levels. Anyway, issues with release order notwithstanding, what you have here is an adventure into a fairly typical dungeon crawler through a fantasy world represented not by traditional graphics but by ASCII characters and other similar symbols. The player controls an explorer seeking out the legendary Amulet of Kroz but what sets this apart from other such games is the element of strategy required. Your goal is to collect gems and while dungeons are of course inhabited by monsters, when you touch one you lose a gem. However, you also have limited supplies of whips to destroy them and walls to allow access to other parts of the dungeon. The strategy comes from deciding whether to use a valuable whip or to lose a gem. While this may seem a small matter, it does make the game stand out and gives an element of originality to proceedings. Kroz is an undeniably crude looking game which might put some off, but if you can get past its visual limitations, there is a compelling adventure to be had here, with plenty to explore, lots of monsters to slay and treasure to collect. If you're curious about the genre, this is a great place to start but it makes for an exciting experience even for veterans.