The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004

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(Jay Cook and Angelo Mottola)

"Prepare to fight, young warrior! Your beautiful Princess awaits you!"

Your princess has been kidnapped! Your mission is to save her from her cage before it's too late. To do so, you must search the kingdom for the legendary sword that will allow you to slay the blobs, bats, and orcs that surround you.

Then, travel to the corners of the kingdom. Find clues that will take you one step closer to the Princess. Get stronger as you gather the hearts, gold, and potions you need to survive. So pick up the pace, young warrior! The battle will never end until the Princess is in your arms.

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
When you first start Ziel, you're in your house. You can look around the room and notice that the game has relatively simple art. You also notice that you move smoothly. But there are some strange color choices, as you can tell by your relatively pink skin.

But all that is forgiven when you go outside. Ziel's world is pretty to look at the attention they put to terrain. A lot of effort was put to make sure the game did not have the tileish feeling you may get from other QBRPGs. Other things, like moving water and smooth and flicker-free enemies, add to the game graphic's.

In terms of range of detail, Ziel comes up moderately. The animation is the best part of Ziel's graphics.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
N/A Ziel does come with a sound setting for use with a Sound card, but the sounds consist of various wavelengths. When I swung my sword at the pig men, I felt like I was strumming a guitar. When I got hit, I squealed a high pitch. In fact, these sound effects may hurt your ears physically as well. Best to turn the sound off. 
Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
Who was Link's trainer? Ziel fights exactly his counterpart  from the NES classic Zelda. While lacking Link's long-range attack and his trademark spin move, Ziel does manage to capture the basic thrust that Link uses to pulverize his foes.

While the game isn't so long, it's the Zelda-style battles in Ziel that lay the foundation for its gameplay. You really have only one mission (that is, find the Princess) and doing so involves fighting various creatures. I like the way the timing has to be different to beat each of the enemies, particularly when there are many in the screen and you're being attacked from more than one side. All that can be credited to the game's simple but charming AI.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
The "Saving the Princess" schtick is not my idea of an original, innovative story. After all, Nintendo monopolized this video game plot twist with Donkey Kong (and ultimately Super Mario Brothers). 
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Because you have a pretty short life meter, you have to start the game over if you sustain a lethal hit. At first this may seem to hurt Ziel because the game lacks a save feature. Then again, the game is so short that there needs to be incentive to maintain your health. Ziel does test your Zelda skills, but not really to the point where you have to do some Zelda III-type manuvuers. Ziel will probably be played until it's solved.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
The enemies in Ziel aren't very fast; it's when they're in clumps like Gauntlet where they really become a threat. The field map isn't so difficult either, as the place where the Princess is kidnapped isn't so intricate, except maybe for a fork or two. Overall, if you can figure out the game's timing, you're set to beat Ziel in no time.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
Fulfilling all your little missions is kinda fun, especially with all the enemies crawling around to keep your fingers busy. One thing I noticed is that you really have to keep your eye on the enemies you fight, because they will usually charge at you if you stay still for an extended period of time. They also back away sometimes if you carelessly thrust your sword at the air. Maybe it's little details, but these really keep you pulled into the game. Ultimately though, Ziel is a Zelda clone. But hey, if that's your slice of pie you can have your fun and play it too.
Players 1 player Genre: RPG/Adventure Game
Rating To solve: 30 min Final Rating: 11/35

To download Ziel (51.1KB), click here.
wTo run this game, you must have any version of Microsoft QuickBasic.
wTo play Ziel, unzip the file and run "ZIELQ.BAS" from QuickBasic.

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Game Summary
Coding Group
Jay Cook and Angelo Mottola
Homepage URL
Final Rating
11 out of 35 points

The Highs: Great Zelda-style swordplay and enemy animation.
The Lows: No save feature, and the game ends just when you really get into it.

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