Shadowgate 64: Trials of the Four Towers
Fantasy adventurers, rejoice. By resurrecting this first-person NES cult classic on the N64, Kemco invites you to exercise your dormant brain cells with hours of addictive puzzle-solving fun.
In Shadowgate, you are Del Cottonwood, unjustly imprisoned and sentenced to die. Locked in the castle's dungeon, your only way out is to climb-down the sewer grate in your-cell, kicking off this first-person adventure.
As in any other game of this genre, you pick up items found along the way and figure out how to best use*them to further your escape. A loose iron bar can be used to knock down a column'and create a-bridge, a discarded pickaxe can help you scale a wall, and so on..Fetid sewers are just the beginning, though: Four dilapidated towers, winding streets, and numerous unfriendly castle dwellers will test your ingenuity.
When in Doubt....Accessoriez
There is no combat in Shadowgate--your only enemies are the mind-bending , puzzles that abound at every corner, and your only weapons are the dozens of' items you keep adding to your inventory, which range from the obvious to the bizarre. Numerous tomes shed light on puzzles, stylish jewelry gets those ghosts talking, and combining potions unlocks doors. Twitchy action fiends won't want to come near Shadowgate, but those who enjoy challenging puzzles and intriguing adventures will be captivated.
Smooth controls make navigation a breeze and inventory access a snap, while cool medieval tunes set the right mood. Where Shadowgate stumbles, however, is in its graphics. By blending in with the scenery, items can be hard to spot, forcing you to revisit rooms way too often. Don't let that keep you from this epic adventure--with its clever puzzles and engrossing gameplay, Shadowgate 64 is a definite winner for fans of puzzle-based adventures.
- As soon as you reach the sewers, walk through the door to the right, look down, and grab the map.
- Tie the rope arpund this carving before using the pixie flute. It's your only hope for escape fronr the first tower.
- Meet the castle gossip. He can tell you a lot about everybody.
- Use the bedpost from AgaarV room as a lever. Turn the left valve to the left,-the middle valve to the right, and the right valve to the right to einpty the moat
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I knew right from the start Shadowgate 64 wasn't going to be very exciting. After all, the original Shadowgate on the NES didn't have me on the edge of my seat back in the day. In fact, sometimes it put me to sleep, even with its addictive puzzles. Still, I hoped this new SG would capture the old style of play but present it in a more exciting way. Unfortunately, it's essentially the same. That said, one might wonder why the developers didn't throw something extra in to spice things up. Certainly the N64 can handle more intensity than this! Well, besides having 3D graphics and giving you the ability to walk around in real time, there isn't much in SG 64 that can be catted an enhancement to the original. In fact, it lacks that special something the original had--that quality you can't quite put a finger on. But then maybe that special something was grade-school summer vacation boredom. SG 64 is filled with grainy graphics, awkward animations, extremely repetitive music (it being the only thing that breaks up the monotony of walking around a castle for hours on end) and mostly vague puzzles. Yeah, I figured it would be a little boring. Yeah, I knew it would be linear-but did it have to be this boring and this linear? It's a case of a classic title getting a makeover, without much changing. Nothing was evolved in this game except the graphics. I think people want more these days.
There is a distinct possibility that I'm going to get lynched for this, seeing as the original Shadowgate has such rabid fans, but I have to say that Shadowgate 64 is one of the most boring adventure games I've played in ages. Nice story, but talk about S-L-O-W. I've always been a fan of "traditional" adventure game fare-but Shadowgate 64 rarely seems to reward you for your hard work. Also, I haven't read so much text in a game since playing Zork.
Shadowgate 64 put me to sleep. It's not a bad game by any means--Trials of the Four Towers is simply a snail of a cart. This first-person take on old point-at-the-hotspot-and-dick-style adventure games is slow and methodical on one hand and very engrossing on the other. The puzzles can range from "duh" to "what the hell?" If you're looking for something more cerebral and relaxing, rent Shadowgate...you'll know in 10 minutes whether this game is for you or not.
Shadowgate 64 caught my eye just by virtue of the fact that it's not another mediocre racing game for the N64. This adventure game has a nice 3D engine, but relies too heavily on text as its only means of getting hints and messages across to the player. On the other hand, the writing is often quite good so it isn't as painful as you might think. The puzzles might be a little too clever for their own good. So clever they just might make you quit playing out of tedious trial-and-error sessions.