Thursday, January 12, 2012

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom (Intellivision)

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: Tower of Doom (later known simply as "Tower of Doom" when licensing issues became a problem) is the third entry in the AD&D series for the Intellivision. The three games were revolutionary console RPGs and each broke new ground in a different way. The first entry, Cloudy Mountain a.k.a. Crown of Kings is more of an Action Adventure game. The second entry, the Treasure of Tarmin, introduces a first person perspective. Tower of Doom scraps that design in favor of hardcore dungeon crawling similar to glorious games like Nethack. One must give credit here, however, considering Tower of Doom was designed with limited resources (unlike Nethack) and release in 1989... which is fairly late considering the previous AD&D game (Tarmin) was released in 1983 (although writtin in 1981).

Tower of Doom, not to be confused with the Capcom beat-em-up, is a standard dungeon crawler. You can fight enemies with ranged attacks, or go into melee combat in first person. You choose one of 10 classes, I prefer Warlord, but others are fun as well, and journey into the dungeon. I've heard the levels are actually 256 floors deep, but I've only gone down 15 floors so far.

As you dive down, you find more items and stronger monsters. It's a dash to the next door in the dungeon, because your health will start to drain if you waste time. You can't save, so you're always going for a high score.

You can also find food, potions, magic spells, weapons, and treasure. Treasure ads to your score, and thankfully disapears once you use it. You can only hold 8 items, so inventory management becomes important, but not impossible. I haven't found any armor, so I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist, although you can find magical rings and treasure crowns, and ghostly spells; the game packs variety.

The dungeon floors are randomly generated on some levels, but the game has pre-existing adventures as well. Honestly, as a serious rougelike player, I prefer the randomly-generated levels.

It's an amazing game, and well worth purchasing Intellivision Lives! or even a real Intellivision to play this game. I don't own a better, faster paced, randomly generated dungeon crawler on the DS.

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