Your daily dose of nostalgia.
The story is a classic, and it is meant to be like that. Your party of four is thrown into a dungeon to fight it's way towards freedom. Nothing new, but then again, this IS meant to be reminiscent of the oldschool dungeon crawlers. The cliche story just adds to the atmosphere, and throughout the game, there is a certain dose of mystery that will be troubling your mind, as something will start speaking to you in your dreams ingame (while you're resting - the main way of recovering health and energy). Now, I haven't finished the game yet, so even I don't know how the story ends and what's actually happening.
The gameplay is simple, especially the combat system. It shows that sometimes it's best to go back to the basics. The controls might take some time to get used to, but when you do, you'll be able to enjoy this blast of a game until the very end. Attacking is pretty simple, but spellcasting is sort of different. You don't just click on icons in your action bar. In fact, you don't have an action bar. The spellcasting is done by clicking on 9 different runes and making combinations. Stronger spells will have more complicated combinations, naturally. Your inventory is limited, of course, and most things you collect during your quest for freedom are a necessity, especially the food, since the characters need to eat from time to time. You'll stock up on torches that also take up inventory space, since much of the time the torches that are carried by your party members will be your only source of light in the dark, damp hallways. So, you'll have to think real hard about what items to keep and what items to discard.
You'll have a map that is automatically updated, but not revealed immediately, so you'll have to explore every square of the dungeon to complete the map. You can also add notes to the map, so you can mark where be those resurrection crystals and other points of interest. There's even a mode where you don't have a map, so you have to wander around the hallways and draw the map on a piece of paper in real life. This is meant for the people that want to experience the feeling of nostalgia and oldschool...ness... that could be felt when playing old RPGs.
The graphics are pretty good, and you won't be paying too much attention to them, since you'll be enthralled by the game most of the time. The musical score is... um... well, it just isn't. There is no music. Sound effects along with the atmosphere created by the stone corridors and gloomy lights kinda remind me of the original Prince of Persia. But that's not a bad thing. In fact, I never even noticed that there is no music until I started writing this review. Sure, the corridors all look the same, with a few changed details here and there, but that's not what this game is about. If you want eye-candy, beautiful graphics and flashy battle animations, go play Kingdoms of Amalur, or something like that.
This game is not only about slaying giant spiders, ogres, and other hideous monstrosities that lurk in the dungeon. The puzzles in this game are simple, but not easy. They're just about the right difficulty. They require creative thinking, speed, timing, coordination, perception, careful observation of the environment and and good memory, because, sometimes you'll need to pull a lever and run through the door before it closes, and sometimes the key to opening a secret hallway behind a fake wall is a small chipped part of a stone brick, which is actually a button.
.The only bad point in the game is it's difficulty. Although not that hard most of the time, at moments it feels somewhat impossible, even on the Easy setting. I'm speaking mostly of battles. Some situations require careful strategic thinking, and some are just so hard that they feel like not even bloody Rambo could get out alive, so more than a few times you'll find yourself on the run from the overwhelming monsters that chase you and throw fireballs at you while half of your party is poisoned from spider bites. Some people say that a game ain't fun if there is no challenge, but it all varies from person to person. As for me, the difficulty doesn't drive me away, it just makes me try harder and put more brain power into it. Don't let this scare you away, the game is not actually as difficult as I described it. Give it a try, and be the judge for yourself.
Overall, I give this game a 9.5 (the -0.5 is because of the difficulty). So, this is an almost perfect game that is bound to give you hours and hours of fun and nostalgia. Casual gamers, give this title a chance. Oldschool RPG fans, DO NOT MISS THIS GAME!