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Night Stalkers
(Scott Carnegie)


"A city governed by assassins, in a world ruled by the night"

Your village has been running dry for days now. The harvest is suffering and the people become more and more weak. If you do not find water for your people soon, then everyone may die from dehydration or starvation.

The only nearby source of water you know is Mendille, the town where your brother lives. However, you know that the path to Mendille is blocked off by the Night Stalkers, a ruthless group of evil ninjas bent on ruling the world. You get some weapons and armor, hoping that you will be strong enough to tame the fury of the Night Stalker's attacks...

Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
Average. The graphics in Night Stalkers are pretty tileish, but at least the art style behind those tiles isn't so Japanimation like, and there was som effort put into originality. The graphic font was also a nice touch.

The penalty points come from the field and the battle screens. Because the tileset used for this game was pretty small, the road to Mendille has this repetitive and undetailed look to it. I also noticed that battles take place on a black window. The window's oriented very nicely, though.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
N/A Perhaps the Night Stalkers should serach for some sound or music support in their next appearance; this game does not have either.
Gameplay (n.)The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe vv
Night Stalkers is pretty cut and dry when it comes to the RPG gameplay formula they used in this game. There are stores, battles, mazes, and all sorts of other stuff that an RPG needs to have if it expects to be top of the line. So, like most RPGs, your job is to earn some money to get better weapons so you can defeat the ninja who awaits you at the end of this game.

But although all the options are available, some of the features in this game take the short end of the stick, particularly in battle. There are only two things you can do if you're in battle: Fight or Run. It would have been nice to see some magic spells or items being used, or at least a "Defend" option. But alas, the battle element is not very deep. Because of the nature of this game, buying the right armor in the right order is the key to winning Night Stalkers.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
The premise of saving a town from dehydration is an original plot, and I was pleasantly surprisd when the Night Stalkers are introduced in this game through demos.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
(Very Poor) This is where Night Stalkers really suffers, and its simply because of this game's battle element. While playing this game you will probably die many, many times. It would be nice to say that these series of deaths resulted from poor planning or bad battle decisions, except for the fact that you can't really do a lot of things during battle. Your only offensive tactic is "Fight" and the remaining is "Run".

This wouldn't have been so bad too, except the enemies get too strong if it takes you too long to accomplish the game's many tasks. Throw in a high enemy frequency and Night Stalkers doesn't really give gamers a fighting chance. The leftover frustration after playing takes away from its replay value.

Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
(Impossible) The puzzles in Night Stalkers aren't very difficult, but the game is backed up by a very high enemy frequency. This would have been okay somewhat if this was the kind of game that encourages battle. Let me explain.

The more battles you win, the stronger the enemies become. If you participate in too many battles (especially if you are significantly stronger than the current batch of enemies you meet) the enemies find some maniacal way of becoming stronger than you. Eventually even the simple, dull-witted orcs receive god-like power. This makes gathering experience (and playing the game) impractical and eventually impossible.

Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
I'm not absolutely sure, but if was the betting kind of person I would guess that Night Stalkers was one of those QBRPGs that wasn't beta tested before it was released. If it was tested, the maker would have realized that too much luck is needed to enjoy this game, since battles can be lost even if you have Full HP and good armor. This is, in part, because the enemies have the uncanny ability to get stronger as you participate in more battles. But what kind of an RPG punishes you for trying to gain experience levels?

The result of this new enemy-generating system is a "flight over fight" mechanism, where you hero will more often have to run away from enemies then try to earn gold. But without experience you may never beat the boss at this game's end. 

Players 1 player Genre: Role Playing Game
Rating To solve: 2 hours Final Rating: 7/35

To download this game, click here.
Installation Tips
wIf you're unzipping this program in DOS, use the -d option.
wTo run this game, you must have any version of Microsoft QuickBasic.
wTo play Night Stalkers, unzip the file and run "NIGHTSTK.BAS" from QuickBasic.

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