iLarn Review

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Just squint to see the dungeon Publisher: Half-Dead Spider Entertainment
Developer: Half-Dead Spider Entertainment

Platform: Palm OS
Reviewed on Palm OS
Download it here

This game is derived from Larn and UltraLarn, two related flavors of ASCII dungeon hacks. (To the uninitiated, ASCII is the uniform character and spacing system defined by the American Standard Code for Information Interchange) iLarn is a dutiful, Palm OS version of these earlier games, in which the player searches underground dungeons and volcanoes for the legendary potion of cure dianthoritis, to save a sick daughter. Twisted hallways and caverns are represented only by #, while monsters are designated by the full array of letters, both upper and lower case. This game is very difficult to win, but dungeons are randomly generated, so each attempt is different.

Rating: (It's free, so think nice thoughts about the developer)
Kyle Ackerman

World Maps now come in wide-screen format This game is unbelievably engrossing, and has added sentimental value for those of us who remember gaming on computers for which RAM was measured in kilobytes. Although the game has a surprisingly steep learning curve, much of the fun is in discovering what the various ASCII characters represent. I knew I was completely absorbed when I found myself wondering, "A '4'? What on earth is a '4'? Oh. Killed by a Type IV demon lord. Damn." It can be productive to experiment, even in so simple an environment. For those that aren't familiar with the original games, try spilling potions. It's hard to criticize a game that is an adaptation of 1980s state-of-the-art technology, and impossible to criticize something that is freeware. This game is perfect for commuting, as long as you don't drive. Join a carpool and tell friends you are doing it to save the environment.

My wallet looks something like this If only school had been this simple  

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on January 3, 2002 10:41 AM.

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