Dungeon Master II: The Legend of Skullkeep

5The original Dungeon Master was made back in 1987, by Faster Than Light (FTL). Then, Dungeon Master was well ahead of its time – it was one of the first 3D perspective games, improving upon the graphically-limited Wizardry series in both look and gameplay. It incorporated innovative features such as pits that actually lead to places, switches that could be pulled with the throw of an object, artifacts, weapons, and armor of every conceivable kind.

But Ultima Underworld had made the traditional four-direction 3D dungeon crawler obsolete, introducing full 3D environments that you could explore Doom-style. For this reason, Dungeon Keeper II is technically inferior to its role-playing competition, retaining the same movement interface from the original.

The interface could be considered tricky. Small improvements, such as the ability to fight with more than one weapon per character, are welcome, even though the concept is nothing new. The magic system, however, might as well be written in secret code for the inexperienced gamer – the spells are entirely comprised of cryptic magic symbols – and if one hasn’t collected a sheet full of spells from the earlier Dungeon Master scenarios, one might find that even lighting a magic torch (the simplest of spells) can be an impossible feat.

10There are a variety of magical maps that can aid the party in many ways: creating sentries to defend, revealing secret walls, or even showing the locations of monsters thirsting for your blood. Finally, FTL added a technological twist on the game. Dungeon Master II is full of neat little machines the player has to assemble, while electric eyes scan the hallways ready to zap intruders and mechanical assault drones attack at the most inopportune moments.

System Requirements: 486 DX2-66 MHz, 8 MB RAM, DOS 5.0

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