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Review: Gridquest V2.00
Gridquest is an action / adventure game with a medieval theme. Looks-wise it appears to be something straight out of the mid-80s but as a kid of the mid-80s that doesn't bother me one bit. It ran very slowly on the computer I first tried it out on a long time ago, however giving it another shot on a better rig I was able to fully enjoy this amazing game for what it's worth. It should also be noted that this is an MMF port of the original which was made in TGF. Many people tell me that's super-impressive and from what I've seen of the source code I gotta' agree.
I will deduct SLIGHTLY in the presentation department only because there is no easy way to readily quit the game while playing. I know this is minor but even the F4 way to quit doesn't work which means I have to do the task manager / end task method which kind of stinks. Maybe it worked before when it was a TGF game I dunno.
Gameplay-wise, Gridquest is very much like Diablo minus the different classes and builds. You have the option of using your mouse to click your little guy around or the keyboard (or a mouse / keyboard combo, which is what I do). Pressing [CNTRL] swings whatever weapon you currently have equipped, be it a plain stick or a firey flail. They all seem to have the same attack speed however some appear to have a slightly longer reach (ex. the stick is longer than the dagger). Striking an enemy isn't guaranteed damage though, as a "to hit" roll is needed that uses the target's armor rating to attempt to avoid the blow. Enemies range from the puny green goo and rat to much tougher minotaurs that rush you or skeletal archers that unleash whup-ass from afar. There are even special areas where you can fight boss monsters that are carefully thought-out and tough as nails to test your battle-hardened character.
Every defeated enemy has a chance to drop some sort of treasure. Most of the time it's going to be silvers (the game's currency) or a health / mana restore orb. What's cool is if it's picked up and not immediately used it goes into your backpack to use later when you need it most. Gear is divided up into weapons, armor, and shields and each has a chance of getting a prefix and suffix to make them even more useful to you. Sometimes you might also find a super-rare unique item that has unreal powers like my favorite armor the hilariously-titled "Hatemail".
There is one shop in the game where you can purchase said health / mana restoration orbs and some lamps. The lamps are great because they allow you to see much better in dark areas and navigate the game's many dungeons and hidden underground areas. To my knowledge, this is the only place where you can sell any extra gear you find on your travels (and trust, me you will have extra) so remember where this old guy is! To the south of this shop is the blacksmith who sells 4 randomized pieces of equipment on his north wall and 3 pieces of mundane-but-better than what you have on now gear on his east wall. Talking to him repeatedly will give you 4 new randomized items along the north wall so if you don't see something you like keep talking to him and eventually you may.
There is another shop that sells magic tomes which I had completely missed for hours and hours too! From the old guy's shop you just move one screen north and you're there. Until I found this place I had assumed that the only way to get magic in this game was from monster drops or chests. A signpost in the middle of town that said something like "North to the Magic Shop" would have been helpful but it's no biggie. Also it's worth noting that the magic shop chick says the same thing that Akara does in Diablo "I sense a soul in search of answers!" That was pretty cool! The magic spells that I've seen in this game are very awesome and varied. You have healing, fire projectiles, summoned grizzly bears, teleportation, telepathy (the PUSH spell), shielding and much more. I give a lot of props to Pixelthief for making so many interesting magic spells as there aren't any duplicate-effect jobs that I saw.
The only downside to this game would be that the sfx and (moreso) the music are not original. It's hard not to be sort of taken out of the experience a bit when you hear something pretty recognizable like a Final Fantasy or Zelda song, but considering that Pixelthief's so friggin' good at coding and ideas who really cares if he isn't a master composer when it comes right down to it? Gridquest is an addictive game that I'll be saving to my hard drive on not one but TWO computers. So there you go!
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