Dungeons Of Gomilandia (Retroworks) Review | - Everygamegoing


Dungeons Of Gomilandia
By RetroWorks
Spectrum 48K/128K

Dungeons Of Gomilandia

Retroworks are best known for their arcade releases so Dungeons Of Gomilandia is something of a departure for them. It's a puzzle game, with one of those usual backstories about some dude (you!) needing to "prove his intelligence" by completing a series of caverns according to a number of arbitrary rules. In the case of these dungeons, it's about moving blocks around in order to collect a key and escape via a door before time runs out.

Surprisingly for a Retroworks game, it's not all that responsive. Picking up and dropping the blocks doesn't happen immediately - there's a noticeable pause. Walking left and right is also a little jerky. Neither effect is serious enough to spoil your enjoyment of the game though, if indeed you do enjoy this type of game. Which is really the central question here. Puzzle games give players the chance to exercise the old grey matter, and so, if this is your intention, there's really nothing not to like about Dungeons Of Gomilandia. The early screens are easy (and are more of a walkthrough to introduce to you how the puzzles work than a serious test) but from screen three onwards they start to get tougher, with the elements being positioned in such a way that you need to puzzle out how to reach each of them.

The game is played from the side on, platform-style and your hero can walk left and right, pick up blocks, drop them again, and stand on them. Doors are often positioned in the air, meaning you need to construct steps up to them to escape the screen. However, falling more than the height of two blocks will kill you, so you need to ensure you watch your footing, or plan accordingly. There's a time limit too, and it varies by screen - some screens have barely any time at all, others have a lot of it. The allowed time gives you some indication of how easy or difficult the puzzle therein actually is, and you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Dungeons Of Gomilandia

When time runs out, a clock falls directly on your head, which I found quite humorous. Very Jet Set Willy-esque.

This game is one of those where you get out of it what you put in. At first sight, some screens seem downright impossible, but with some patience and trial and error (and probably a few deaths) you'll work them out, and feel very satisfied in your own intelligence. However, by its very nature, it's also a game that will eat up a lot of your time... and so you might well find it all very tedious. To try and alleviate frustration, the author has implemented not only a password system but also a number of different modes. You can either play the actual challenge (Arcade mode) or without time, lives or points (Relaxed mode). This is a brilliant idea... apart from the time aspect. I think anyone can well complete any screen with infinite *time*, but if you faff around for an hour, you haven't really proved yourself very intelligent, which sort of defeats the purpose surely?

Overall, I think this is a pretty good game. It feels a bit like a superior 'type-in' game from the early Eighties rather than a full-price extravaganza, but, well, sometimes that's all you want, isn't it? It's entertaining, and it puts up a heck of a good challenge, so I think any puzzle gamers will enjoy any time they spend with it.

Dave E

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