Do not trust the reviews, and do not judge this game by its screenshots. Please.
This is one of those games that are heavily underappreaciated, but yet have so much to offer to those that are seeking something a true game can give. The problem is, people judge books by their covers, and therefore do not give them a decent chance to shine. This is one of the examples ( Mark of Chaos is another one, and Bandits - Phoenix Rising, and on and on... ), and I am really confused on this one. Gamespot has the best reputation as a game site, they have, like, all the information a person would need to hear related to any type of game, and yet here I am, looking at Temple of Elemental Evil - s ( ToEE in further text ) screens, and wondering - Does the guy that made the screens have a 15 year old, or a 150 year old computer? The resolution on some screens could very well be 320 x 192, and that just SUCKS. I remember that ToEE inspired me in some ways, and I remember that, although short, it gave me quite an enjoyable experience. I play DnD in real life, and I am telling you this - ToEE is the game you want to play if you love DnD. Neverwinter Nights is a...meh....good game, but the graphics suck ( even for that age, so don't go like - Oh come on you retard it is an old game ), BAH! ToEE is a year older than NWN, and yet it gave me a more satisfying experience, and I don't see people hurling to play ToEE, no...
Anyhow, I am not here to bash, but to compare. It is what I always do, and giving examples is the best way of explaining something to someone. Now...
Graphics - For that age, they are beautiful, as mentioned before. Although, different tastes may think otherwise, but I am telling you my opinion on this matter. I like the way battle is overviewed, so you get a good view of everything that is going on at the moment. It is a little confusing at first to master the moving techniques, so you can cooperate them with effective graphical performance ( especially in cities ( especially in BIG cities ) ), but once you get the hang of it, it is perfect
Sound - The sound is, as I recall, very good I must say. The music in the background is soothing, the ambient sounds are realistic ( even if you don't have a surround system ), and there are no annoying repeative battle shouts like, Goddes take you now!, I shall smite thee Wicked!!! and so on, blah blah
Gameplay - This is mainly connected to the fact are you a DnD player. To DnD players, this is paradise. To normal RPG-ers, this is an enjoyable experience, to normal players who play everything, this is a very good game, and to the people who play RPG-s for the first time....well, I think they should consider other games, because to master ToEE, you need to know at least some basics of the DnD ruleset. Like, I liked the game when I played it the first time, and I had no idea what the hell is DnD, so when it said 19-20 / x2, I thought that I have some sort of penalty, and didn't use that weapon, so I was mainly stuck with Warhammers, Greatclubs and such ;-)
Multiplayer - Unfortunately, this game offers absolutely no multiplayer, BUT, you can play something like a hot seat mode, where 2 or more players are playing on the same comp, and picking what they do in their round, which can be quite interesting if you have the humor and spirit to do such a thing. I've tried it with some of my friends, and we had a blast. Allthough we couldn't talk with the GM, or ask him for suggestions ( duh, it is a computer ) we really felt like in a realistic DnD game
Value - It is definetely worth the spent money, and with the main company of this game recently shut down, I think they won't sue you if you Download it from somewhere ( Torrents are a f****ng mirracle, I'll tell you that ), so even if you don't buy the original, you won't lose any special benefits.
Overall - Dungeons and Dragons - The Temple of Elemental Evil is a splendid, multifuncional game. You can have fun with it, you can have fun with your friends, or you could learn DnD rules through this game ( sort of )
I won't say it is the best game I have ever played, but I would certainly put it in my top 15, and I stand behind what I said - 1 ) Buy this game, you won't be dissapointed. 2 ) Remember, whatever others say, this is THE DnD game. No other game can give you this much DnD loyalty as ToEE.