Watch out Ultimate. Here comes The Edge. Wizardry puts up a real challenge to the dungeons and dragons type arcade adventure pioneered by the Ultimate team.
You play the part of Drinn, an apprentice loremaster, on a quest within the walls of the Castle of Illusion. Pass all the tests and you could become the youngest loremaster in the land.
You start the game in a "floating" 3D corridor. Floating as the graphics for the castle corridors and rdoms all appear against an inky black background. Below the graphics are status windows - including an inventory, a hits/wounds readout plus a message window for mystic communications.
The game is played using a combination of keyboard and joystick. The stick is used for movement and firing spells, using your swords while the keyboard calls up objects from your inventory and makes them ready to use.
You also have to use the Commodore key to open doors - it's not a fully scrolling game you see!
There are lots of puzzles and problems to be solved - but fortunately The Edge have included a few hints to get you started in the nice little booklet which comes with the game. You'll come across lots of surprises as you move through the castle - like the flying skulls and horned beasts who guard various chests.
You'll have to learn when to use a spell of when to fight with your trusty sword, when to open a chest or when to leave it well alone. but don't waste your spells - use them wisely or you could find yourself in big trouble.
Wizardry is the closest thing we've seen to a real-time animated Dungeons And Dragons style game - with many of the elements of the original role-playing D&D included.
The graphics are - dare I say it - better than the Ultimate 64 games so far. The sound - a different tune for almost every room - is great.
And the game is absorbing and addictive. Could this be the start of something big from The Edge?