|The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004
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Dark Woods 2
(BlueSckR and Jocke the Beast)
"Where Riches are the Doorway to Death or Reason"
Gaming Gold Award Winner for Best Puzzle Game
The Dark Woods are an entrancing and dangerous
place, inviting those who are too arrogant and greedy to find it's golden
treasures and magical artifacts, hidden in a maze of trees and mist. You
are one of those poor souls drawn in to it's allure-- and now, there is
only one way to escape!
Use your sword, arrows, and walls of fire
to pave your way to hidden passages containing the treasures that you seek.
But be careful! Orcs and trolls thirst for blood nearly as much as you
thirst for wealth.
use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|The original version
of Dark Woods 2, which was made by Jocke the Beast, featured ASCII graphics
with a little bit of color. The Dark Woods 2 graphical remake throws the
old style completely out the window by combining some graphic tilesets
with new, miniaturized animated enemies and special effects, all optimized
to keep the gameplay of the original Dark Woods 2 while introducing fresh,
RPG-like graphics. BlueSckR and Jocke the Beast collaborated very well
for this part of Dark Woods 2.
The particle effects
and animations featured in the Dark Woods 2 graphical remake are all welcome
additions to the game. However, I did notice that some of the graphics
don't quite match up to the actions the game wants to convey. When you
swing your sword, it looks nothing like swinging a sword. When you're making
flame walls, it looks more like you're making a campfire. Also, when the
game gets particularly intense, slowdown does rear it's head a bit (but
to the point where it detracts from Dark Wood 2's gameplay). Even if it
didn't match though, the special effects are still well-done.
smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
||In this game, the
Dark Woods are infested with orcs and trolls, but free of sound or music.
precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
|Dark Woods 2 is
best described as on overhead RPG/Puzzle game with more emphasis on puzzle
game elements than RPG elements. You play the role of an adventurer seeking
treasure and magical items guarded by orcs and trolls. It's this lust for
wealth and power that draws you into the Dark Woods, armed only with a
sword and some knowledge of how to use mana.
The strange thing
about Dark Woods 2, and this introduces the puzzle aspect of the game,
is the way the enemies move. The enemies walk only when you take a step;
in the orc's case the movement is random, and in the troll's case, it's
directly after you. That means to reach treasure, keys, and other vital
items, you need to either fight these bad guys, or use their unusual attack
pattern to somehow dodge them.
This is where Dark
Woods 2's unusual control system pops in. To use your sword, you have to
hold the spacebar, then tap the arrow keys to swing the sword in the desired
direction while still holding down the spacebar. If you're not holding
down the spacebar, tapping the arrow keys will move your character in the
In addition to the
sword, mana and arrows can sometimes be picked up in the map, allowing
you to cast fire walls and shoot arrows. These extra items come in handy
when fighting trolls, since your sword has no effect against these red
creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
||Despite all the
medevil elements, Dark Woods 2 does not feature any storyline. The intention
of the game is to pull you in quickly and get you hooked while you're trying
to figure out the game's control system and layout, as opposed to getting
enthralled by a storyline that gradually builds.
|Replay Value (n.)
timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated
again and again
|Here's where my
problems with Dark Woods 2 rest. The graphics do a good job of updating
between stages, but usually with an RPG/Puzzle type game, new types of
creatures or challenges are introduced as the levels progress. The first
level pretty much teaches you the fundamentals of beating any other level
in this game; grab the treasure, beat the orcs, then beat the trolls.
Perhaps some new enemies or magic spells in the later levels would have
helped to stir up something for this game, especially since it does come
with a downloadable map-maker.
strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and
|Dark Woods 2 only
features two kinds of creatures, all with a rather predictable AI that
can be avoided or destroyed as long as you can keep your enemies separated
into small groups. This is easier said than done, of course, and there
will be more than one instance where you'll be running around the map trying
to avoid foes you can't strike down with your sword.
|Fun Factor (n.)
overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|BlueSckR and Jocke
the Beast completed their mission in Dark Woods 2 when it came to making
a successful graphical remake. The graphics are respectable and up-to-snuff
with what's expected of a QB game, while offering a little more to keep
your eyes nice and happy. The game does need to pull in gamers a little
faster; perhaps a tutorial mode of sorts would help accomplish this. But
should you begin to understand the gameplay of Dark Woods 2, you'll be
generously rewarded. It may be a one-time journey, but it's quite satisfying
from beginning to end.
Dark Woods 2 Reviewed
by Vance Velez
Role Playing/Puzzle Game
||To solve: 1 hour Final Rating:
download Dark Woods 2 (288KB), click here.
you're unzipping this program in DOS, you may have to use the -d option.
play Dark Woods 2, unzip the file and run "GFXWOODS.EXE".
Back to RPG Page
Back to Puzzle
and Jocke the Beast
out of 35 points
Highs: Downloadable map editor keeps the
fun going after you beat all the game levels.
Lows: Because of the limited creature
types, there aren't a lot of surprises as the game goes on.
V Planet! Archive
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