The Ruins of Cawdor

RPG 1995 Dos Sierra Online Fantasy Adventure style

Let's go dungeon crawling

This is the third game in a fantasy series which started with Shadow of Yserbius and continued with Fates of Twinion. The games are all pretty similar in terms of gameplay, being 3D dungeon crawlers with plenty of exploration and monster slaying to enjoy, but this is perhaps the best of the bunch, although it is a far cry from the likes of Dungeon Master. In a slightly unusual twist in terms of narrative, this one actually takes its inspiration from Shakespeare's Macbeth, albeit dressed up in the usual fantasy trappings. You start out by creating a character from one of six classes, including familiar ones like barbarian, thief and cleric and then you move on to the game proper. Here you have to explore six levels of the spooky Castle Cawdor which is just brimming with monsters, treasure and traps to catch out the unwary. If you throw in real time combat, secret doors, an interesting storyline and even some magic, then you pretty much have everything that's on offer here and what you do have is a solid slice of fantasy adventuring. There's nothing staggeringly original here but it's all put together with a decent amount of style and flair to make you forgive any shortcomings in this respect. It's all pretty accessible stuff, so even if you are a genre newcomer, you'll be able to get into it in no time, while there's also a high level of challenge, making it suitable for veterans. The visuals aren't bad, with some well designed levels and monsters and the whole thing has a good sense of atmosphere. Gameplay isn't exactly complex but if all you want to do is whack some monsters, you could do worse than this.

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